Food Safety to excess?
Are we (generic we) going overboard on food safety? Some things like washing after handling raw proteins, refrigeration and such are just sensible, but I’m noticing a disturbing trend of the nanny state creeping into our kitchens in the same manner as bicycle helmets were foisted on us. This was brought to a head for me today as I watched the county health department shut down a Cub Scout fundraiser in a shopping center (they were selling pre-packaged peanuts and popcorn) because they had a bowl of popcorn out for sampling – The HD clown made them close up and leave because they didn’t have a certified food manager – really! Also I see where starting 01/08 in Pennsylvania any business that sells any food item (yes pre-packaged too) will be required to have a certified food manager on site at all times.
Soon will it be – No more bake sales? No more roadside BBQ or other goodies? How soon before our kitchens are in the HD domain and you need a permit and inspection for a dinner party?
Have we gone overboard?
To me, in this day and age we live in a world where no one can lose in a game. It's a sue happy world and even though I agree totally with you, the HD is making every possible effort to keep people safe and if that kept me from getting sued then I'll live with that. But yes, they are like a over protective parent for sure. Heaven forbid I might get a tummy ache if I go out and eat.
I hear what both of you are saying ..... some of the "odd ball" stories, like the Cub Scout one, are the hardest for me to swallow. On the other hand, we've all seen a few bad habits sicken an entire cruise ship or a convention. I know perfect compliance is impossible. I think I would be happy if 75% of the people followed 75% of the rules 75% of the time.
Something most folks never think twice about, and I see a lot of this time of the year are home canners not following procedure or using questionable techniques when putting up their garden fare. It is a personal pet peeve of mine ....
I may have said this before, but I think the problem is two fold.
First, we do need some form of food handling knowledge from those who are feeding us. And of course we also need to be aware ourselves of safe food handling procedures when we feed others.
Second, and this is a tricky one. We are rapidly reaching a point of over sterilization.
I think it's possible that we can become too clean of a society, leaving us eventually more susceptible to food borne illness.
For example someone from south of our borders might be much more resilient due to greater exposure and higher immune levels from being exposed to things we are trying to irradicate.
And that is more than likely why people who travel to Mexico complain of getting sick.
But on the same note how could we possibly determine which food borne bacteria is acceptable and which isn't, and to control the amounts presented to us.
I hardly think popcorn and peanuts pose much of any threat when it comes to food borne bacteria, being that there is little to no moisture present for bacteria to thrive.
I guess this one boils down to principle, being that a law is requiring a food manager be present during the public sale of food items.
I see this instance of the scouts just falling under a blanket without regard to what is actually being served and the inherent lack of disease causing criteria.
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