We all cringe when some expert says, “It’s not a question of ‘if’ the next food safety outbreak occurs but ‘when.’”
Sure enough, the last few months have been filled with bad news about food safety outbreaks for fresh produce. Just this summer we’ve seen outbreaks with Oregon strawberries and Colorado cantaloupes and now an organic Mexican tomato recall.
The cantaloupe outbreak is particularly devastating because it to led to 13 deaths.
While keeping the deaths in perspective, there has been some good news associated with these outbreaks.
Government authorities have gone about their investigations methodically and then specifically cited the items they felt were responsible. No blanket statements to avoid a commodity, as we saw with tomatoes in 2008. No panic.
Because of this, strawberry sales from other regions were not damaged. It’s too early to tell on cantaloupes, but there appears to be no widespread retail or consumer avoidance as other regions ramp up.
Outbreaks are terrible, but they can be dealt with reasonably.
Did The Packer get it right? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.