Make Our Food Safe
11/23/2010

Editorial: "Give thanks for your meal? Maybe just cross your fingers"

Lexington Herald-Leader | Francesca Grifo

 

"More than any other holiday, Thanksgiving is about food. We spend hours slicing, chopping and cooking. Then we eat a lot, eat some more, and, finally, fall asleep on the couch. What better way to celebrate being an American?

But what we eat this Thursday, or any other day, may not be as safe as we think. Our food system has serious problems. Last summer a half-billion Salmonella-tainted eggs were recalled. Last year, Salmonella in peanut products killed nine Americans and sickened more than 700. And every year, food-borne illness afflicts 76 million Americans, leads to 300,000 hospitalizations, and kills 5,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why is this happening? We depend too much on food producers to catch problems, and that's too often too little, too late. Most manufacturers work hard to ensure their products are safe. But with increasing globalization, a few large companies often produce food for millions, and one unscrupulous or incompetent manufacturer can put public health at risk from coast to coast..."

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