During normal times, without a disaster present, there may be a danger lurking.
According to one Center for Public Integrity report, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections are up 200%. However, they only inspect 2% of foreign imports.
An allegation was made by News21 that “Federal agencies entrusted with the safety of the nation’s food supply routinely fail to prevent bacteria-infected food from reaching grocery stores and restaurants, putting millions of Americans at risk.”
“News21” is the name of an investigation project looking into the safety of the U.S. food supply.
“Twenty-seven student journalists at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, Harvard University and the universities of Maryland, Missouri and Nebraska spent 10 weeks researching food safety issues and interviewing experts in the field. Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post, led the seminar from the Cronkite School and coordinated the program.”
“Each year one in six Americans – 48 million people – gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
All sorts of things make us sick through contamination: hazelnuts, cantaloupe, bologna, sprouts, papayas, and turkey.
They are contaminated with E.coli and salmonella.
In this project’s study, the focus was on the fruit from Latin America. However, that is not today’s news.
The talk is now about cantaloupes from Colorado. You may remember when they made news as people were getting sick from deadly bacteria, listeria.
Lisa Nance published her news today in the Las Vegas Guardian Express. Cantaloupe farmers, Eric and Ryan Jensen, are being held responsible for the outbreak and have been arrested for distributing the contaminated produce to 29 states. The breaking news is that “This is the first time criminal charges have been filed by the FDA in connection with a foodborne disease.”
The Jensen brothers apparently violated standards for packing and keep food clean. This is precedent setting, and maybe more farmers will face prosecution if they violate the law.
Now, what does this mean for preppers?
When you are growing your own food, harvesting, and packing via canning or any other means, you may very well want to follow FDA standards for the sake of those depending on your safe preparation.
Growing up in the 1950s in rural America, moms and grandma’s canned fruits and vegetables that we ate all winter long. They were mighty particular in the kitchen while doing that, and they followed procedures meticulously.
"Cantaloupe Farmers Arrested – Will There Be Others?
Added by Lisa Nance on September 27, 2013.
The case of the Jensen brothers will be under major scrutiny when it goes to trial on December 2. This is the first time criminal charges have been filed by the FDA in connection with a foodborne disease. In a recent U.S. Attorney’s office press release, it said the criminal charges were filed to send a message to those involved in growing and processing food for U.S consumption and to “ensure that deadly pathogens do not enter our food supply chain.” In the past decade, besides the cantaloupe farmers, only four other people have met with criminal charges; but, if the Jensen’s case is lost, will there be others?
At the time, Gorny was with the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition as a senior advisor for product safety. He said the Jensen’s had “significantly deviated” from the industry’s safety standards during the harvest season in 2011. He cited that they neglected to use chlorine, an anti-microbial used throughout the industry, during produce packing. The contamination was spread during the process on the conveyor, that Gorny said ‘inoculated’ the listeria with the life-threatening pathogen.