The United States had the Saintpaul salmonella outbreak. Canada is having an ongoing listerosis outbreak. And now China is suffering potentially the worst scare of them all with a milk scandal that has sickened fifty three thousand infants and KILLED four.
All of the above outbreaks are associated in one way or another with food manufacturing, distribution and or processing of produce, meat and dairy products. If you don’t remember your basic food groups, these are three biggies.
In Canada as of September 4th 2008, 18 people ha died in connection with Listeria and seven other deaths are under review as a result of 38 total confirmed cases. That is a total potential death rate of sixty six percent (66%). Listeria is known to have a death rate of 25%. We all remember that over fourteen hundred people were infected during the U.S. salmonella outbreak. Salmonella is typically associated with less than a one percent mortality rate. That does not make it any less scary.
The most frightening of these outbreaks is the milk scare in China. You might ask why since it is not associated with North America we should consider it the most frightening. Because it is not caused by bacteria or an allergen, it is caused by a product that is not supposed to be used in food. It is the same product that was responsible for killing hundreds and sickening thousands of pets in the United Sates during 2007.
Melamine is an industrial product that can mimic protein content when it is added to food products. This practice is totally unethical. In the situation in China melamine was added to milk products to create a false protein reading on milk products that otherwise would have been rejected.
Why should we be concerned beyond just caring for our global family? Because the world is a very small place and we travel constantly for business and pleasure even with inflated fuel prices. The United States and Europe ban Chinese milk products. I have friends that live in Japan. What about our troops in other parts of the world or business travelers to China, Australia, Korea, Africa etc. We need to be vigilant.
The Sanlu Group a Chinese dairy giant is the guilty party in this case and apparently new for months that Melamine was contained in their products. This company appears in our SafeSourceIt North American Supplier Database. We will flag them for future reference. We continue to believe that supplier safety certification adherence and review is as important a requirement as is greater than one forward one back traceability.
We look forward to your comments.