Food safety dialogue lacking
Source of Article: http://www.cjonline.com/news/state/2009-07-22/food_safety_dialogue_lacking
July 22, 2009 - 6:38am
Poor communication of one federal food safety agencies’ regulatory efforts has consumers skeptical of a monitoring system that is actually quite efficient, Kansas State University researches say in a recent publication.
Charles Dodd, a Wamego doctoral student in food science, and Doug Powell, an associate professor of food safety, published a paper in the journal “Foodborne Pathogens and Disease” showing the information people glean from recall notices can lead to thinking more food is unsafe when it isn’t.
The authors suggest a better dialogue between the Food Safety and Inspection Service and consumers.
“Occasionally, regulatory agencies may create unrealistic expectations by the way they communicate with the public,” Dodd said.
The pair said it might be helpful for consumers to know a few things.
One, they said, not all recalls are initiated because someone got sick. Many are announced after routine testing.
Also, regulators don’t always pull an amount of meat off the shelf proportionate to the amount contaminated and are usually “erring on the side of caution.”
"The amount of meat recalled is most likely more than the amount that may be contaminated," Dodd said.
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