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food-born illness epidemic?

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by chainsaw, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    Hello all,

    I have read with interest the recent articles about the FDA, salmonella, Wal Mart recall of lunch meat in the forum, as well as all the articles in the news. It seems as tho there is a recall being announced every week or more of some food item (forget about the safety recalls for toys). I do not hear much of these things happening outside the USA btw.

     Wife & I are not so inclined to want to eat out much as we used to except in places we go regularly. Seems like everyone I know has had or a family member had food poisoning at one time from a restuarant.

    I understand the issue with the lettuce and how ecoli got in the water of the fields. What I am wondering about the rest is, is it a lack of understanding of basic hygiene?

    To show my age, in jr. jigh (not middle school) we were taught how to bathe ourselves by the PE teacher as well as hand wshing, and were required to shower after PE all the way through high school. I guess this barbaric practice caused too much embarrasment.

    I see the signs in restaurant BR's and wonder who is reading them or if they can even read at all?

    I know, fairly disjointed post, sorry. But looking at the big picture of safe/ unsafe food, in everyone's opinion,are these events linkable to hygiene, or the incredible number of tons of food we eat? Or the advent of more processed vs. prepared food? Or number of people handling the food? Or all of the above?

    Perhaps more than one C&E of course-or is it?

    Thanks for reading & sharing
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    I think its more than one thing. As I said in another thread I attended a Farm Food Safety Class last week and we heard of many causes. Things such as workers not practicing good hygiene is one problem. Not following proper procedures is another problem or the lack of the proper procedures all together. Proper storage of feed and other products used is another problem many pests including Rats as they are known carriers of many diseases. The final big piece of the problem is not having a single agency controlling the whole thing from the proper plans through the inspection program. Right now it seems the USDA the FDA and various State Agencies all want to be part of the process but then they all only want to do part of it and end up with none of them doing anything or they pass regulations and then don't inspect to make sure the regulations are being followed.

    I know many people make fun of Walmart but they actually have a very good Food Safety program they require a complete plan and it starts with the property that the farm or facility sits on to insure that it wasn't ever any type of hazardous site and goes all the way through the delivery of the product and a plan if there ever is a problem or the need for a recall. Then that whole plan has to be inspected by an independent party usually by way of review and on site inspection. After all that then they will accept your products if you passed everything. Many other corporations have the same type of program but of course there are still many that don't.
  3. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    here is another factor i'll toss in........$$. food is big business, real big. from land or sea, to various points of sale, and every place in between there are places for adjustments and profits to be made. if a sick cow is still used then more $$ is made, if unskilled or uncaring  laborers are hired at a lower wage, more profit is made and so on.  the amount of food that is produced and sold in the U.S. in various forms and points of sale are staggering. overall i would rather have our system than most other countries, with that in mind there are going to be glitches........what gets me is the relatively few scum out there that puts profits above consumer safety.
  4. I agree with you all! Another thing to look at is the amount of steroids and hormone's that are being pumped into our food! They are already posioning us by doing that alone. If you are putting that amount of steroid's or hormone's into in animal, it has to change things inside of them besides making them grow!
  5. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There's the issue, it's big business. These guys look at every opportunity to make money. Here in North America, we are very fortunate to be able to buy food quite cheap, but that comes at a cost. Unfortunately, many times we as consumers bear the brunt of it, but someone else profits from it. 
  6. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    We cant say that it is all $$$ or big business. I think that people get comfortable with the products they are given and start being lazy with safety so some of the blame will have to be there. 
  7. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    There is a of lack of supervision and inspection going on in the food industry - again $$$ that is causing some of the sickness. About 20 years ago a friend of mine wanted to add another shift to his meat processing plant. He had to wait 6 months until another inspector was trained by the govt before they would allow him to add the shift. He sold his plant 5 years ago and told me the guy that bought it took it to 24 hours immediatly without ever having to add another inspector. 

    I was at a fast food restaurant where the cashier started to make my sandwich after taking the order and handling cash without putting on a glove or washing his hands. I called him on it and he gave me a dirty look before installing a set of gloves on his hand.  When the shift supervisor came out of the back I pointed it out to him as well and I am sure if I was not watching the guy making the sandwich would have made me a special one. The manager just shrugged it off and never commented. 

    The food industry in all facets is hiring lower wage folks that just don't care for the most part. Somehow this needs to change or we are all at risk
  8. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    true, but the suppliers who are paid to furnish the public with safe and wholesome food sure like to get confortable with the said public's $$$. this one ain't the public's fault.

  9. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree 100% Rob
  10. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like it was Ro...... Ta.. Sh.. I used to live in Escondido. [​IMG]
  11. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i still owe you some rub........been busy but i haven't forgot.
  12. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Actually not - they have their issues too - This was a large chicken chain that is famous for grilled marinated chicken - Crazy
  13. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I think you forgot mine too [​IMG]
  14. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    no.............it's sitting here between the table and wall!

  15. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]    Oh  should it be this one  [​IMG]
  16. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    or this one[​IMG]
  17. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    no worries Rob whenever you get to it.
  18. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Rob & Scar,

    I've been following this "trapped behind the table" saga, and this reply completely cracked me up!

    You guys are killin' me!