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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
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How Dangerous is Our Food Getting?

4 comments

During the last couple of years, we have had the peanut butter, eggs, and ground beef rounds of food poisoning. Widespread problems of real danger. But, how widespread is the listeria contamination going to be?

Fairwarning had some interesting facts recently:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year one in six Americans — 48 million people — get food borne illnesses. That includes 128,000 who are hospitalized, and 3,000 who die.

  • Already this year, contaminated hazelnuts, cantaloupe, bologna, sprouts, papayas and ground turkey have caused outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella illnesses in the U.S. As The Associated Press reports, the tainted cantaloupes, produced by Jensen Farms in Colorado, are linked to at least 15 deaths and the toll could rise.

  • Food imports have quadrupled over the past decade, and now account for 60 percent of all fruits and vegetables eaten in the U.S. Yet the FDA, which relies on a a risk-based system to focus on products with a high risk of contamination, inspects only about 2 percent of all imported food.

  • Imports, often from China and Thailand, account for more than 80 percent of all seafood eaten in the U.S. As FairWarning reported in July, tons of that fish is laced with chemicals banned from the U.S. food supply, including carcinogens. But state officials say the tainted imported fish nevertheless is winding up on American dinner plates.

  • Nearly 3 million Americans get sick every year from harmful bacteria in meat and poultry, according to University of Florida research.

  • One out of every five chicken breasts for sale in grocery stores is infected with salmonella, a 2009 FDA study found.

  • Although the FDA last year started mandating new safety measures to reduce salmonella in eggs, the agency has checked up on fewer than 50 farms nationally — out of 600 farms with more than 50,000 hens — due to limited staffing, agency records show.

  • Even when public health authorities learn of illnesses from tainted food, more than half of the time investigators never determine the origin, allowing the contaminated food to remain on the market and to sicken more people.

This is one of the areas where we can see what years of no regulation or federal oversight created. It’s the world of profit over safety. It’s time that this type of "freedom" was stopped and we went back to keeping people healthy as the number one goal.

If you suffer from food poisoning, you need to get immediate medical care. If it continues or there are long term affects, you should contact an attorney concerning the problem. Early investigation can include the collection of samples, checking for health alerts, and the proper notifying of those who caused the problem.

4 Comments

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  1. Joe Saunders says:
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    Mike has some important facts in his blog about public food safety. This is an area where government regulations and the expenditure of taxpayer funds is vitally important to protect the public health.

    I know Mike would be a good lawyer to handle a case for a consumer who suffers injury or illness from contaminated food.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Thanks Joe, I appreciate you reading and the kind comments.

  3. Mike Bryant says:
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    Email I got today:

    The Hague, Netherlands, 07 November 2011
    Dear all,

    Re: An approved processing aid against Listeria

    On the internet I read your interesting article about Listeria contamination.

    I am writing to you because I am a former listeriosis patient. Luckily I had a strong enough immune system so I did not die, but I was very, very sick!

    I gather you do not know of the product called LISTEX P100. Listex is a safe (FDA approved as GRAS = Generally Recognised as Safe) phage preparation produced by the Dutch company Micreos Food Safety in Wageningen. (See link: http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/news/2011/05/usda-approves-listex-as-processing-aid-against-listeria.aspx . ) It is also approved as a processing aid by Health Canada and in many other countries. It is a natural and relatively inexpensive product, much cheaper than destructing a great lot of good product or having to worry night and day about possible product contaminations with Listeria or the bad reputation a company can get in business. A great amount of advertising money down the drain! Above that a lot of investing to save revenue!

    Micreos’ website is: http://www.micreosfoodsafety.com . In my view it is worthwhile to contact them. They are working worldwide. On the site you will see how it works. The product can also be used on all organic products (OMRI listed), it is effective against only Listeria (leaving even the ‘good’ bacteria in place), and has no effect on any other food properties (color, odor, texture, taste).

    It could also be valuable for a company to use Listex, because it is an approved and effective measure against Listeria monocytogenes and every food producer can use it. Because of the high risk associated with Listeria, if the company does not take measures against it, they could expose themself to liability. Sadly, more than 400 deaths in the US and Canada underscore this!
    Listex is very well known in the food business, it was honoured with the gold award of the Food Ingredients Europe.

    Contacting http://www.Micreos.com can mean the salvage of a company. And also can save many deaths and illnesses like mine!

    To be precise: I am not on the pay list of Micreos Food Safety, I am just working to ban the Listeria bacteria. I do not want other people to suffer from listeriose like I did.

    Perhaps you could write an article about Listex. You can find it on the Internet and Micreos can supply you with all the details you want.

    May I ask you your opinion on how to ban Listeriose on my e-mail g.van.der.feltz@ziggo.nl
    Perhaps you could write an article about ListexP100 and help me to ban Listeria!

    Thank you in advance!

    Gustaaf van der Feltz ( g.van.der.feltz@ziggo.nl )

  4. Mike Bryant says:
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    Thank you for the very helpful and informative information. I hope that we do get more answers about what is happening out there.