|FDA makes Keystone Cops look competent|
|Written by Administrator|
|Saturday, 12 July 2008 17:41|
With over a thousand, yes one thousand, cases of Salmonella Saintpaul being reported, the Keystone Cops, also known as the FDA, have finally decided to inspect shipments from Mexico for the bacteria. Actually, it would be an insult to the Keystone Cops to compare them to the FDA. At least the Keystone Cops were a team of actors portraying a group of incompetents (btw, if you haven't seen a Keystone Cops clip, check one out here),the FDA on the other hand are supposed to safeguard the U.S. food supply and are really inept.
The FDA originally believed tomatoes to be the culprit but now have admitted that other produce may be the source including cilantro, jalapeño peppers, serrano peppers, scallions and bulb onions. At the onset, the investigation seemed to intentionally ignore imports and focus on domestic sources. Just to put the current regulations in perspective less than 1% of all food that is imported into the U.S. is inspected which includes locations such as Mexico, China and India. Even the United Fresh Produce Association, which is a trade group,is now asking for federal safety regulations to help alleviate consumers' fears. Assuming the FDA does enact stricter controls, this is yet another example of a government agency implementing changes after the damage is done.
It is also important to recognize that the strain of Salmonella that is causing these illnesses is rare: Salmonella Saintpaul. Given this specific strain, the FDA should be aggressively pursuing the source in all possible locations including exports. Like the Keystone Cops, the FDA are bumbling their way through this crisis seemingly looking everywhere else except the most obvious spot. The FDA had developed a "safe list" for sources of red tomatoes that are supposedly Salmonella free, however given their track record to date can the list really be trusted.
Stay tuned my fellow germaware for the next installment of the FDA's Salmonella show. Although the Keystone Cops are easy to enjoy for their exaggerated frivolity, the situation with our food supply is no laughing matter. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay GermAware.
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|Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 16:35|