Each week the Keizertimes asks a question about current events. To see more of this week’s answers or answers to past questions log onto www.keizertimes.com and click on In the Ring.
This week’s question: Do recent revelations about egg safety hurt your confidence in our food inspection system? And what precautions, if any, do you and your family take?
James Wilhite and Pat Erhlich, Gubser Neighborhood Assn.—
No – it did not change our confidence, or lack thereof in the confidence in the food inspection system in this country.
The food safety in this country depends largely on the integrity of the producer and how they perceive good safety practice and food recalls will affect their bottom line. Good conscientious folks will take the steps necessary to produce safe quality food for their countrymen, even if it adds to the cost. Food safety laws and regulations are probably adequate for the most part in this country but the regulating agencies of the government, Federal or State are always understaffed and probably kept that way on purpose by vested interests.
As for precautions we try to handle all our food with care, wash our hands, be aware of possible contamination, and use safe cooking practice. When a recall comes about, we try and find out the products affected.
Roy Duncan, retired Oregon state analyist—
About the only things the federal government does well is fight wars and over-tax the public.
Makes one wonder how anyone would want to trust them to take care of our health because it has been abundantly clear to me for years that neither the FDA nor any other branch of government keeps us safe from illnesses nor do they really even try.
As for how I handle my health in such a chaotic circumstance, I rely on the scientific method, luck. I mostly buy things that I will refrigerate or freeze for at least a few days before consumption and then I hope any contamination will have become public before my use. In their (the government’s) defense I will say I have never had to return any purchases nor throw any away but I am ever ready, that is if I don’t die of food poisoning first.
Dave Bauer, co-owner, R. Bauer Insurance—
There has been questions for a long time about our ‘government’ inspection system. There has been good and bad when it comes to inspecting and governing of our food. Tainted beef, E-coli in vegetables, milk issues and now eggs. The good news is we catch some of those things. The bad news is some folks get sick and some even die before we find the problems. Why? Not enough inspectors, procedures gone wrong, businesses trying to save money and safety of there products is compromised. It could be, just plain not enough inspections.
We are always looking at expiration dates on all products we buy. Staying in tune to recalls, and trusting in my local grocer to keep good fresh products. When I find a problem in a store I bring it to the management’s attention: out of date products and partially opened packaging. Smell or color changes are things to notice. We also use as much fresh produce in season, and eat lots of fish we catch ourselves.
Vic Backlund, former state representative—
The short answer to your question is basically “no.” That’s because I tend to take the “big picture” look and when I do that, I recognize that our foods are generally safe. Certainly there asre some gliches, but when considering the entire gamut of food inspection, we Americans are very, very fortunate that our foods are as safe as they actually are.
As to the second part of the we mostly watch for expiration dates on whatever food products we are considering purchasing. Secondly, we make it a point to be aware if there are any particular food products that have been recalled or are said to be causing health problems (we watch a number of TV news shows and we also read our local newspapers as well).