How difficult is food safety?

June 8th, 2011

If you happen to live in Europe and have suffered though the recent e.coli outbreak, it appears as though it’s pretty difficult.

You can’t open up your browser or turn a page in a local or national newspaper without reading about some food borne illness issue followed by some official saying we have to get a handle on this. Most of these illnesses are lumped into the food poisoning category. Some are bacterial and others virus related.

The bacteria and viruses most frequently associated with food poisoning cases in the United States are Salmonella, Botulism, Norovirus,Vibrio Infections, Listeria, Hepatitis A, B.cereus, E.coli and Campylobacter. To this author all of these names are pretty scary and many have resulted in death.

There are dozens of trade organizations, programs within those organizations, standards and governments focused on Food Safety. And we still end up with outbreaks like we are seeing in Europe.  

If I were to try and define food safety, a simple definition would be that it is a scientific discipline describing the handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent food borne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards. Food can transmit disease from person to person as well as serve as a growth medium for bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

Isn’t too bad it’s not that easy. Unfortunately, Food Safety seems to be proverbial camel     created by a committee trying to design a horse.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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