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Fear and Loathing at the Grocery; Peanut Butter Recalls

02/13/2009
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Did we ask for prepackaged, processed foods? Well, maybe tacitly. These types of products provide longer shelf life in the store and reduce spoliation long term at our homes. The drive for these foods was motivated by both the retail industry as well as consumers.

We expect to buy food that is safe to consume.  Is it acceptable for us to allow manufacturers to minimize safety measures, simply because we enjoy convenience?

The recent peanut butter recalls are both a further warning to consumers and a debacle that should alert our government officials to a problem that may be appearing as the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem. Whether it be food for human consumption or food for our pets, the recent events involving tainted products is proof enough that something more needs to be done to protect consumers; whether those consumers are two legged or four legged.

Much of the recalled peanut butter is tainted with salmonella, which is a potentially life-threatening organism.  Salmonella is found in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. It is most often spread to consumables through fecal matter of animals. Typical symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include:

 Diarrhea
 Abdominal cramps
 Fever

Most people recover from salmonella poisoning, but people with challenged health should seek the advice of a physician immediately if symptoms persist or if the person has a preexisting condition, such as: HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and transplant patients. In our four legged friends, any who have persistent symptom mentioned above should immediately be seen by a veterinarian.

Bacterial contamination has also occurred in our produce especially if the produce is grown and imported from another country.  We cannot continue to let this happen.  How many people or animals have to get sick or die before regulations and inspections are put into place that we can be assured that when we purchase food it is safe to eat or drink?

We should be certain that there are stringent regulations in place that do not allow these bacteria to be present in our food.  Also laws should be such that every manufacturer of food products takes extra measures to assure the safety y of processed foods. Should a manufacturer be tempted to place profits over safety, laws should be in place and the government should be prepared to enforce them in a way that discourages that decision in the first place.

Is it really going to be necessary the peanut butter to be labeled as a high-risk food?

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