Food Safety and the Media

Anyone who is keeping up with the political primaries is well aware of actions taken by politicians along the campaign trail.  Every misstep is documented, scrutinized and goes viral rapidly.  The same can be said about food safety missteps at the manufacturing level.  Now that we have the technology to test for outbreaks rapidly and medical experts have the knowledge of identifying common food borne illnesses it seems like we are hearing about people getting sick much more often than previous times.  Case in point, the Jensen Farms facility that has been accused of improperly processing cantaloupe and causing the death of 30 people and causing illness in approximately 150.

Food borne illness is a very serious issue that affects an untold number of people each year and it still remains poorly understood.  More than half of the known outbreaks are caused by unknown sources.  The reality is that our media focuses on topics such as the Listeria outbreak when there were more than five million cases of Norovirus and more than one million Salmonella cases that received significantly less attention.

Even the best implemented HACCP plan by a manufacturer comes to an end once the product has been shipped out the door.  The does not mean that food safety ends at the manufacturing site, it is just as important for basic GMPs to be followed at home such as hand washing and avoiding cross contamination between raw and cooked products.

By:  Jill Carson, Lead Auditor