The recent peanut butter and pistachio scares have got me thinking more about food safety lately. Of course, I’m always very cautious of food labels and safety because of the families I work with who are dealing with food allergies on a regular basis. However, it’s easy to forget that food safety is something that affects everyone, and we all need to be careful about checking labels, expiration dates and watching for product recalls.
I came across an interesting editorial the other day in the New York Times. The article, “Food Safety, One Pistachio at a Time,” discusses what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has done recently with food warnings - and what they still need to work on. As soon as the pistachio contamination was found, the FDA advised consumers to store or throw out all pistachios while they determine what items are truly contaminated. They’re goal they said was to try and stop people from getting sick in the first place, as opposed to waiting until someone is sick or dead before taking action.
While this is good news, the writer points out that for consumers to truly be safe, at a minimum Congress needs to increase the FDA’s staff and recall authority and in the long term, the federal government should establish one agency to coordinate and enforce food regulations.
To read the entire editorial, just click here.
For a food allergy safety update, check out the entry I recently wrote on this topic.
How do you feel about the recent food scandals and regulation issues?