Thursday, May 17, 2007

Is food safe to eat

I've seen 2 news stories today about food safety. Both focused on the E. Coli 0:157 outbreak in spinach last year. In fact, CNN just ran an ad for a one hour dangerous food investigative report. I wonder if CNN would have been mad if the investigation would have shown that food safety has improved.

Anyway, the point of both reports is that the government and the food industry need to do SOMETHING to make food safer, dang it! Which brings up my question- what do we do?

One report showed that a spinach farm with a good barrier system to keep out bacteria harboring animals can get contaminated if a bird lands in a cow pasture, gets some cow manure on its beak, and poops in the spinach farm that is 10 miles away from the offending cow. Pesticides might be able to reduce the rate of microbial contamination, but then the food does not qualify as "organic". And no one want to pay for irradiated food (and no one knows if that can cause health issues). And according to one expert- the FDA inspects each large food processing plant every 10 years. If they just had more funding and manpower (which means your taxes get raised) they can check every 5 years. Or the government can shift funding from some useless pork like education to pay for this upgrade.

Just once I would like a media outlet to say, we don't have an answer, at this time it is an unsolvable problem.

My advice- wash your hands and cook your food thoroughly.

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