Who is responsible for food safety? You are!
Or so says ConAgra, apparently. The New York Times reports that ConAgra, unable to locate the source of Salmonella in its frozen dinners (oops), deals with the problem by telling you to heat the dinner to 165 degrees and use a thermometer to make sure you do. The Times tried this. Not so easy. Oops again.
Mind you, it makes sense for everyone to follow standard food safety procedures at home. These, you may recall, involve doing four things in your kitchen: CLEAN – wash hands and preparation surfaces frequently and thoroughly, SEPARATE cooked from uncooked foods so they don’t get cross-contaminated, COOK food to appropriate temperature to kill harmful microbes, and promptly CHILL foods in the refrigerator to retard bacterial growth.
Shouldn’t we expect ConAgra and everyone else to produce safe food in the first place? And don’t we need some regulation to make sure companies do? I think so. Now.
The appointment of Tom Friedan to head the CDC should help. Let’s hope Margaret Hamburg’s appointment to head the FDA moves quickly through the glacial congressional approval process.