"A Mouthwatering Site on the Internet" since 1995
Food safety has been in my life for a long time. To me it's not just how
the food is cared for, how it's handled, cooked or what temperature it's
held at, it's more than that. In cooking classes I've taught, I've given the example of a delivery
person walking through all sorts of muck and detritus getting into and
off his truck's back storage area while delivering lettuce to a restaurant.
In walking to and from other restaurants and stepping in who knows what
on the streets and sidewalks, all is picked up on the soles of his shoes
and now it gets tracked on to the floor where the lettuce also sits in
the back of the truck. By
the way, the truck's storage bed probably hasn't been washed in
would you eat off the floor of that truck? From the fields where the lettuce
grows, it is directly packaged in
boxes, the boxes have holes and slots so it can breath and to allow for cold air to
circulate, keeping it crisp and to prevent rapid spoilage on its journey
to the customer's plate. Along the way these
boxes sit on the floors of trucks and lo and behold, some pieces of
lettuce exposed by the holes protrude through them, absorbing contaminates that are on the the
The chicken on the other hand might not get you sick if it is cooked to the FDA's recommended cooking temperature within a few hours. You see it doesn't have have enough time for the bacteria to grow and multiply into a toxic state. But if the chicken isn't used that day and instead it's placed in a refrigerator and sits there for a few days, then it would have time for the contaminants to grow. The how and why of this is that the chicken was contaminated with some of the bacteria, when it was cut on the non-sanitized table. Because it wasn't consumed and was stored away, time and temperature come into play, time allows the bacteria to grow, especially if the temperature is above 40 degrees F. as this allows it to grow faster. Why 40 degrees?---Refrigeration slows bacterial growth. Bacteria exist everywhere in nature. They are in the soil, air, water, and the foods we eat. When they have nutrients (food), moisture, and favorable temperatures, they grow rapidly, increasing in numbers to the point where some types of bacteria can cause illness. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees F, the "Danger Zone", some doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. A refrigerator set at 40 degrees F or below will protect most foods.
Regardless of the
temperature, since it was contaminated and has sat for two days, it is a
food item that is potentially hazardous aka. PHF. Cooking it may kill the
bacteria but the chicken meat will have spoiled and will taste and smell
strong---yuck! This may have happened to you at home, you left
chicken in your refrigerator for a few days and when you remembered
it was there, you opened it only to find it smelling like rotten eggs
and feeling slimy. Seeing this, you probably became upset at yourself
for wasting the chicken and money, as you threw it in the garbage.
In the restaurant
world a saying exists to this point---"If in doubt, throw it out!"
Unfortunately you don't want to do this often; with buying only what
you will use, avoiding contamination, proper time and temperature
controls and using it in a timely matter , you can avoid the loss of
both the chicken and the money you paid to buy it.
In many states a ServSafe certification is required for chefs and cooks who are supervisors of other chefs and cooks. It may also be required by local cities and towns for cooks and servers, to satisfy local food licenses and permits being issued. Some states may only require that all food handlers be aware of the dangers that present themselves if food isn't handled properly. I can't believe that there are even some states that don't require an any of the above! I feel that it is the responsibility of all foodservice cooks, chefs, food handlers and servers to serve clean uncontaminated and wholesome food.
National Restaurants Association's
ServSafe Program---ServSafe Food Safety Training Program leads
the way in providing current and comprehensive educational materials to
the restaurant industry. More than 4 million foodservice professionals
have been certified through the ServSafe Food Protection Manager
Certification Exam, which is accredited by the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI)-Conference for Food Protection (CFP).
ServSafe training and certification is recognized by more federal, state
and local jurisdictions than any other food safety certification.
"Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling,
preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent food borne
illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed
to avoid potentially severe health hazards." (Data from: Wikipedia)
What does this all have to do with food from China???
Well, what about the foods from China itself, are they grown and
processed in a safe matter? Fortunately, in most countries in the world
they are, but in
China there is a large amount of industrial pollution. There may
still be times you might get sick from something you ate, as talked
about above. Food borne illness is different than plants or animals
absorbing pollutants into their systems. The following story is
another example of a food borne illness, so you understand the process---I got "the
bug" once in Quebec from eating Veal Blanquette, a creamy French
Veal stew, that was more than likely
infected by some bacteria and then while sitting in a food warmer at an improper
temperature---not in the under 40 degrees or over 140 degree "Safe Zone"
for food, the bacteria grew to a toxic state. It may have been contaminated with a un-sanitized
spoon or with the introduction of a bacterial from unwashed hands.
There are too many possibilities to suppose why. However this wasn't the fault of the meat or ingredients in the
dish, rather improper handing was the cause! Proper food handling
is paramount, we know this! But what about how the food stuff is grown and
handled before it arrives at a restaurant, supermarket or food store? I'm talking about what might be absorbed into the the
items themselves during the growing process and then again in packaging. I
mentioned ServSafe above, and in countries around the world, there are agencies
regulating food safety. In the USA, in England, Canada, Australia, in
France and on and on, each country protects the consumer from food
dangers through regulation and inspection but is this enough and is the
actual "farming/growing" overseen? And now with the upswing in the
demand for organically grown and raised products that becomes
questionable too. I see more and more interest in these organic foods,
so hopefully more attention will be paid to what's in the soil and
the certification process of becoming a certified organic grower or
producer especially the way it is done in the USA.
The Story Behind China's Tainted Milk Scandal that happened in 2008. Powdered milk was found to contain melamine, a chemical used in producing plastics, and was sickening infants and young children around the country. The chemical soon started turning up in the products of international companies, including giants such as Cadbury, Nestlée, and Unilever. - US News
As we now see "made in China" on just about everything these days, we are also seeing "packed and grown in China" on many food items....this concerns me a lot. I recently, without looking at the label, purchased several food items from China. When at home I found out where they came from and threw them away...I didn't even consider returning them or God forbid, donating them to a food pantry...why pass these things on to potentially harm someone? Are these items inspected before being allowed on USA consumer shelves, are they tested by inspectors? The US Department of Agriculture can't even guarantee that all food in the USA is in compliance with food regulations due to our government's lack of funding of the agency. It is terribly understaffed, and they can't inspect all the food produced here so what about the food coming here from China???
A Tilapia Fish Farm in China (left) and the Tilapia, the Brownish stripped Fish (right) (Getty Images)
You must go to the following websites and
read the articles about our own government's failure on food inspections.
And then the Chinese government's admission of farm land
soil contamination, it's scary to say the least. I'm not alone with my
United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service Food Safety Information...Refrigeration and Food Safety
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration:
A letter to the United States Food Manufacturing Industry, Regarding Melamine.
"FDA has information indicating that melamine and its analogues have been added to milk produced in China and that milk contaminated in such a fashion has been used to manufacture infant formulas and other dairy-based products."...more
USDA's Economic Research Service. "As Americans have become
wealthier and more ethnically diverse, the American food basket
reflects a growing share of tropical products, spices, and imported
ABC News Australia-Frozen berries hepatitis A scare! The Department of Agriculture tests foods based on risk assessments and advice given by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). "Do they test all the food coming into the country? Every type of food is tested, but not every shipment of food coming in."
Australian Government Fisheries Research and Development Corporation,
Factsheet Imported Seafood in Australia
Good Cooking's View: It's not just Big
Business in in the USA, it's in Australia too!
Natural News America's Truth News Bureau---'Organic' from
China exposed: The shocking truth about 'organic' foods grown in the
world's worst environmental cesspool!
Good Cooking's View: This is a must read and
wait until you see the pictures!
Whole Foods Market---This is a response to a news segment
aired on WJLA (Washington, DC) WHOLE FOODS IS THE UNDISPUTED LEADER
IN ORGANIC FOODS AND PROMOTES "LOCALLY GROWN." BUT THE I-TEAM HAS
FOUND THAT MUCH OF WHOLE FOODS ORGANICS ARE IMPORTED FROM CHINA.
Good Cooking's View: Again Big Business here
but their response in "ALL CAPITAL LETTERS"---come on, get real!
www.worldtruth.tv---Imported Chinese Tilapia Are Raised on Feces.---"In many cases, fish farmed in Asia and imported to the US have been raised on diets of chicken and pig feces." Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia said. In some places, like Thailand for example, they will just put the chickens over the pond and they just poop right in the pond. Good Cooking's View: We have "NEVER" eaten or cooked Tilapia!
Dr. Axe, Food is Medicine---The Truth About Organic Foods from China! Dr. Axe said, "I found frightening information about all food from China, frightening lack of regulation concerning organic food from China, and, worst of all, shocking information about our National Organic Program (NOP)." Good Cooking's View: We all need to be more aware of these things when it comes to the foods we eat!
The Economy in Crisis, America's Economic Report-Daily---The Threat of Imported Toxic Food. "According to United States Census data, food imports have nearly doubled in this country from 1995 to 2012. Over 60 percent of imported food comes from developing nations, such as Mexico and China." China is a big concern but what about other imports?
Lambs Ear and Honey, www.lambsearsandhoney---Australian garlic
vs imported garlic, what's the difference?
Good Cooking's View: Okay that's Australia but
what about the USA? Yup---here too and I ask why???
Now that you
have read this and gone to look at some of the other web links, what do
you think? Are you going to rush out and buy fresh bamboo shoots
grown in the Yangtze River or the Tilapia filets from the ponds near
the industrial park. What about the apple juice concentrate from
around Beijing or the Leechee Nuts from the orchards next to the
smoldering garbage dump? Cripes, is Tsingtao Beer safe to drink?!