The Federal and Drug Administration are responsible for over seventy percent of the food safety for American consumption. With Congress passing the Food Modernization Act in 2010 the safety of produce and food products have fallen through the cracks with one out of six Americans being sick and some have even died over food contamination.
The safety of foods is vital in order for consumers to stay in great health, and receive all the essential vitamins of the food products. For years Americans have tried to get safety regulation on food products because of so many senseless deaths. No real measures of actions were being taken due to the cost of who was going to pay for the change in food safety. For two years the current administration did not take food safety as a priority as to not upset the other side of the political party so more money would not be requested.
Nothing comes without a cost even something to save Americans lives has a price tag attached to it. After much complaints to the White House President Obama has proposed over two hundred million to help regulate contamination and have an assured food safety in place for food products, but it will be up to Congress to agree if this is necessary for American’s survival.
Whether Congress approves this amount or not Americans, may have to bear some cost for food safety assurance. The increase in possible food cost will be worth it if American lives, are being saved because proper precautions are being adhered to and the death tolls regarding contamination decreases significantly. Bottom line you can’t put a price tag on when it comes to saving lives.
Ways food can get contaminated
Foods can get contaminated so easily. When touching multiple produce without wearing gloves and not washing your hands that the bacteria you’ve encountered is still living through organisms and spreading to the next food product. Not properly washing and sanitizing hands is a main key component for bacteria to improperly spread. For example if you’re dealing with a spoiled food source and you’ve touched it, and now touched a non-spoiled produce you’ve just cross contaminated the non-spoil produce.
Another way food gets contaminated is not washing hands after using the restroom. As gross as this may sound improper sanitation is one of the main causes of people diagnosed with E-coli due to fecal residue. Having available portable toilets on farms that are consistently cleaned will help eliminate bacteria from flowing on to food products.
Contamination can happen by not cooking certain foods to the right temperature. When foods are not cooked to its proper temperature and then packaged right away; it does not allow the bacteria to die. Instead the bacteria, is trapped in the package while the pathogens spread in the product. In order to help ensure the safety of cooked foods, it should be properly cooled down to the right temperature which will help stop the spread of bacteria in the food product. The cooked food should also be kept separate from the fresh foods so they don’t cross contaminate.
If farmers don’t ensure that the water being used for irrigation for crops is safe this will definitely cause a hazard to crops being grown and the contamination can spread to the safe crops. The safety of water plays a huge part in your produce growing safely. The water and soil should be tested for pesticides and herbicides.
Two Rules the FDA is setting forth
1. Farmers will have to ensure their water is safe and free of radicals. Also the water used on fresh crops should not be the same water used for irrigation. The growth, harvesting, packing and holding of produce locally as well as aboard need to take proper initiative to avoid contamination.
This can be done by carefully attending to the fertilization of the soil and manure used. Animals on the farm need to be separate from growing and harvested produce so no cross contamination occurs.
Proper sanitation from farmers, their workers and process house employees need to be an on going routine. The employees need to follow procedure by washing hands, scrubbing under their nails so no fecal matter is remaining on hands, which can then be transported to produce causing a food borne illness breakout. They also need to completely dry hands, especially after using the rest room.
2. The FDA is expecting farmers as well as food producers to keep better records and document all incidents regarding food occurrences such as food outbreak, cross contamination or contamination of any kind.
Along with the documentation the food producer and farmers, will need to come up with an action plan to resolve whatever may be documented to prevent any possible food illness outbreaks.
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