Authored By: Candace Whitman
Lately, it seems like there are new food recalls reported every single day. Listeria in ham, salmonella in crackers, metal pieces in beef jerky: It’s never-ending. It begs the question, what is being done in the food industry to prevent these hazards?
Francine L. Shaw, President of Food Safety Training Solutions, Inc., provides her expert insight in a recent article for LexBlog. Shaw says that our country has a “serious ongoing food safety problem” and our food industry is in denial.
Shaw reports that there were 438 food recalls in 2017, and each year in the U.S., there are 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths due to food-borne illnesses.
The number one cause of recalls is undeclared allergens and mislabeled products. Shaw cites one incident where a raw pork product was falsely labeled as ready-to-eat. The second biggest reason for food recalls is “the possible presence of dangerous pathogens” such as Listeria and Salmonella.
According to Shaw, some of the most likely reasons for this food recall epidemic is a disregard for safety protocols and corporations’ unwillingness to change food safety plans and spend the money and time needed to make the improvements.
Shaw suggests that technology could help the food service industry keep better track of food safety checks as opposed to the pencil and paper method that is currently in use that leads to lost or incomplete records. She also says that inspections are currently scheduled ahead of time so more impromptu inspections could help the food service industry get a real idea of how they can improve.
Photo Credit: flairmicro