Safety Zone
By: James Marsden
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A personal observation on food safety

Source of Article:

(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.)

Nancy Donley is a dedicated consumer activist with a single objective – to make food safer. Tragically, she lost her 6 year old son, Alex in 1993. He died from an E. coli O157:H7 infection from contaminated ground beef

 After the death of her son, Nancy helped form the consumer group – Safe Table Our Priority (S.T.O.P.). Like Nancy, this organization has acted to improve food safety and has promoted no other agendas.

A few months ago, I called Nancy to ask her to write the forward for a book I’m writing on food safety for consumers. During the conversation, we discussed recent food safety improvements. I enthusiastically told her about a company that I work with that has implemented an excellent food safety system.
This company produces pathogen-free raw products. They accomplish this by treating their raw meat ingredients using high hydrostatic pressure and further processing the product into patties in a controlled, aseptic environment. They use state-of-the-art technologies to continuously decontaminate conveyor belts, patty makers and other equipment during processing. In addition, this company tests every lot of raw materials and finished products for Salmonella and other pathogens. The finished product tests results are posted on the company’s web site for their customers to access.

 I told Nancy that the owner of this company is a young woman who came from the fashion industry into the food industry and didn’t know that a pathogen free raw product was “impossible”. She decided that her product had to be safe and implemented the technologies required to systematically eliminate microbiological pathogens and prevent their reintroduction.

When I reached the end of my story, it occurred to me that I was talking about a pet food company. 

This company has achieved the food safety objectives that Nancy has been promoting for 16 years. I was embarrassed to tell her that these wonderful food safety interventions are being used to make safe raw pet foods. The same technologies are available across the meat industry.

It is time that we recognize that safe raw products are possible. It isn’t easy and it may be expensive, but it certainly is not impossible.    

5/29/2009 10:23 AM 


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