Is There Such a Thing as a Food “Culture?”

What would it take to convince the broad food industry, including household food consumers, the considerable advantages of adopting a food safety culture?

The question is asked because despite years of food manufacturing regulation and food safety awareness programs from industry trade groups and others, many incidents of foodborne illness continued to occur, in some cases leading to serious illness and death. Both in manufacturing facilities and kitchens across America, cross-contamination that enables dangerous bacteria to move from raw product to human hands, or through improper improper temperature control, or by haphazard cleaning of plant equipment and kitchen surfaces  — all of these and other factors end up generating hundreds of food recalls annually, not to mention serious illnesses and deaths.

The new regulations of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) impose a sort of informal food safety culture on the industry, which is now under the regulatory gun to prevent food contamination at every step from production to processing to shipping. The new industry watchword is “prevention,” and the thrust of FSMA is to require companies to maintain close inspection of every facet of their business according to a detailed food safety plan.

Yet as most observers recognized, FSMA’s reach does not extend into households. Thus the question: how to close that gap so that food consumers would begin “owning” food safety?”

The link below explores this topic  in further detail. With the new food safety law now largely implemented, it’s a good time to think about how industry reforms will impact consumer habits, and in the process create a powerful food safety consciousness.

Is a Food Safety Culture Possible?