11/19/2012 02:57:00 PMTom Karst
thank GOD for food inspection, more is needed to keep our food safe to eat and stiffer penalties are needed to guarantee the food remains safe, ie. furtilizers used in organic food production, so many lives at stake not just the people eating it.
We all strive for our products to be safe for the consumer. I don't think there are many in the Food Industry who would say that the food chain is less safe than than in past years. The case could be made that food safety standards are higher than ever. The reasons for the proliferation of recalls just might be that the technology of detection of food-borne pathogens outpaces the ability of the industry to catch up with requirements. Perhaps we have sanitized and cleansed ourselves into a position where many of the minor strains of pathogens that have been around for millennium are now detected, and, BAM...recall. Anyone who thinks the penalties for recalls aren't stiff enough has not had the experience of living through one.
Sanitation is a nice word, to use it sounds good, but how many are really doing sanitation? It takes too long and costs too much, are the statements from farm to retail. FDA requires test and hold since March 1, 2012. So if the industry would take FDA regulations serious, they wouldn’t ship contaminated food or feed into the supply chain. How can it be there are more recalls in the last quarter? There shouldn’t be anything contaminated in the supply chain. Even companies they are testing like Sunland and have positive results are shipping their products to the consumers. Where are the penalties at?
True, we are "safer" than we were ten years ago. The issue isn't necessarily the technology. It's the human part of the equation. Instead of being black and white, many see shades of grey. There are GAPS but, what does that really accomplish? Many times when someone [grower, shipper, warehouse, retail, etc] suffers the consequences it's a fine after the fact as well as any associated legal punishments. Every segment of the supply chain needs to thoroughly process their product to ensure the optimum food safety standard. That's what should be. To make it so, it would increase the cost of doing business [for some] exponentially. More protocols means more expense. More expense will raise the cost for the consumer. Rarely have I seen or heard of a company intentionally supplying tainted food (The PCA salmonella a few years back MAY be an exception). There needs to be a harmony between the resources needed and the effect on the bottom line. Some are looking for that harmony. Some, not so much. For some, it's simply more cost effective to be reactionary. We all know the FDA has no real powers and can, virtually, be ignored. Funds-> up-to-date tech/experts-> higher and more consistent food safety standards-> convert GAPs to Regulations to hold EVERYONE accountable.