Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I am doing some end-of-year thinking today. Among other things, I took a look at what the Food and Drug Administration considers to be "Major Public Health Threats" in our food. There are five food product recalls that the FDA presently classifies under this heading, taking place over the past two years (actually, less, since it is not up-to-date). The number of products recalled represents the latest information made available by the FDA (and also, may not be quite up-to-date, but it gives you the general picture).

Here they are:
Shell Egg Recalls (94 egg product recalled)
Hydrolized Vegetable Protein (HPV - a flavor enhancer) Containing Product Recalls (177 products recalled)
Pistachio Product Recalls - (664 products recalled)
Peanut Product Recalls (3918 products recalled)
Milk Cooperative Ingredient Recall (286 products recalled)

All except the first (shell eggs) were associated with ingredients used in processed foods (except for a few repackaged nuts). This kind of recall almost always tends to be more widespread.

And note - every one of these "major public health threats" was caused by one of the Salmonella bacteria. Of course, there were many other additional instances of Salmonella contamination of our food as well during this period (produce, ready-to-eat foods, spices, chocolate, pastries and more).

As I have said before - Salmonella is a major survivor, and it is everywhere in our food.

So I am giving Salmonella the "Worst Food Threat" award of the year.


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