Sunday, September 25, 2011


This week's recall of E.coli 0157-contaminated beef, meant for school lunches in Georgia (see previous post), reminds me again that institutional food tends to be more deadly. We don't want this dangerous E.coli anywhere in our food. But having it in the meat destined for the school cafeterias is even worse. Here are three reasons why.

First, food stored and produced in large quantities is more likely to not get as cold as it needs to throughout, or reach the no-risk temperature it should reach to kill such bacteria. This applies to all institutional food, not just to that served in schools.

Secondly, because of budgetary constraints, many schools, particularly in some districts, have inadequate or poorly functioning equipment, such as refrigerators and cooking equipment. This increases the preceding risks.

Thirdly, studies have shown that school children who become ill with food poisoning at school frequently pass it on to their siblings, and especially younger siblings, at home. This bacteria can be particularly dangerous for such younger children.

For these three - and other reasons - it is especially important to make sure that any food served to school children is not just healthy, but safe for them to eat.

To your good health,


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