Inspections during Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

When a public health agency becomes aware of an outbreak of foodborne illness, they put into place interventions to stop the transmission. Central to that effort is an environmental assessment referred to as an inspection. Companies may also employ third party inspectors during outbreaks to determine the strength of prevention

In the absence of food safety regulations in many commodities or the lack of oversight in general, companies have turned to the private regulation of the food supply. On an individual and voluntary basis, dozens of auditing firms and hundreds of private parties are looking closely at the safety of thousands of suppliers. The supplier-food

The food safety net just showed us another huge tear as the result of contaminated peanut butter products. The problem will be felt for years in the peanut industry and will likely change the food safety landscape in many ways.

The government reaction has been harsh and focused in this latest deadly outbreak. More

No one disputes the fact that our food safety net has several gaping holes. Like clockwork, one can seemingly depend on a major foodborne illness outbreak to occur every few weeks. This month it is peanut butter, again, a few months back it was peppers and tomatoes, before that potpies, veggie snacks, canned chili, etc

Public health policy and food protection are issues that we expect the new Obama administration to address eagerly. Financial problems, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Home Land Security have shifted focus away from our core public health agenda, and now is the time to return our focus. Everyone agrees that public health programs have suffered in the last eight

This outbreak is an example of scombroid poisoning. Scombroid enterotoxin is actually a heat stable bi-product of histamine, and results when dark-fleshed fish begin to decompose. Its one of the few illnesses through food that have a correlation directly to spoilage although there may be others (certain strains of C botulinum). Because the symptoms

In a recent message to its members, Food and Water Watch says:


“Protecting Our Food: End Food Industry Self-Policing”. Consumers need strong standards and strong enforcement by government inspectors. The USDA must abandon attempts to let meat plants do their own inspections. The Food and Drug Administration needs new authority and resources to

What a lot of people who travel do, myself included, is just stop at the first restaurant that is convenient. I might make a decision as to what kind of food I feel like having but the venue is kind of arbitrary. I am like most folks; I expect the operator of any establishment to protect

There are those who would debate whether industry should be the leaders or the follower in food safety. Industry has taken a lead over government, going passed the basic food codes. For example, the USFDA Food Code applied at retail does not require food safety systems to be developed, nor does it require certification that