This year’s recall of Cargill turkey products raises serious concerns regarding the effectiveness and enforcement of USDA and FDA regulations that are specifically set in place to ensure the safety of the food we eat. A few months ago Cargill recalled millions of pounds of ground turkey. Cargill had produced some of the meat as far back as February 2011.
The sad fact is, meat recalls are not all that unusual. There was a recall of 380,000 pounds of lunchmeat in August 2010, and between 1995 and 2000 there were over 275 different recalls. These recalls added up to a combined total of over 140 million pounds of meat being recalled.
FDA regulations don’t help reclaim all contaminated food
Unfortunately, during any meat recall only about 30 % of what is recalled is actually returned. That means a very high percentage of contaminated meat is being unknowingly consumed by people, increasing their risk of illness and death.
All meat production in the United States is regulated by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). As a matter of fact, meat is the only product to come with a government seal of approval. There are also many FDA regulations in place to ensure the safety of processed meats.
FDA regulations don’t help improve meat processing methods
Food contamination can be caused by a variety of factors. Current breeding, growth and feeding practices, and unhealthy and unnatural diets fed to animals, promote the likelihood of animals contracting contagious disease. To combat this, animals are given large doses of antibiotics. An unfortunate side effect of this overuse of antibiotics is super-virulent strains of antibiotic resistant “super bugs”.
Are the USDA and FDA regulations that are currently in place adequate, and are they properly enforced? Highly mechanized meat processing facilities increases the opportunity for food contamination. It is true that periodic inspections are required by law. As a case in point, an ongoing USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) investigation into multiple illnesses from Salmonella Heidelberg is what prompted the voluntary Cargill recall.
Do you trust FDA regulations to keep your food safe?
People need to be able to trust that the USDA and FDA regulations in place are there for their safety, that the people conducting examinations do so with food safety their primary concern, and that the enforcement of all regulations is conducted in the interest of food safety and purity. Please comment below and let me know if you feel safe with current FDA regulations.