Are You Concerned About The Safety of Your Food?

One day last year while surfing the Internet I came across an article about a recall of food on the Food & Drug Administration’s website.  I signed up for email alerts, which you can do here, and rarely a day goes by when I don’t get emails about recalls of a variety of foods from cantaloupes to peanut butter.

The most recent peanut butter recall concerned me because it was not just for one particular brand of peanut butter, such as Jif or Skippy, but rather it was peanut butter that was sold in specialty and health food stores, raw peanuts, and peanut butter that other food manufacturing companies used in ice cream, bars, and other products. The last update I got from the FDA had more than 240 products that were recalled all from peanuts and peanut butter from a single plant.

Frankly, the safety of the food I serve my family really concerns me. So much in fact that one of the many reasons we rarely go out to eat has to do with food safety. When I was in college I worked for a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in our local mall. There were rats that walked over the bread when the store was closed and they chewed holes in the plastic coverings to get at the buns. Our manager told us to just get rid of the buns that had been chewed. There were bugs in the ice and he never changed the oil that we used for frying the chicken. I quit that job as soon as I could.

In a recent study conducted by Bloomberg and reported on in the Huffington Post, it was found that consumers aren’t all that concerned with the safety of their food and about one-quarter of those surveyed were very or extremely concerned.

Perhaps some of my concern comes from the fact that I was hospitalized for four days years ago because of eating a hamburger contaminated with the E. coli bacteria. I’m ultra cautious and was wondering if you are too?

When our food manufacturing processes get so centralized, there is a danger that unsafe conditions in one location can affect thousands of people across the country. When we don’t know where our food comes from or how the plants that process the foods are regulated, there is the potential for harm. That’s why I like to buy food from local farmers, including vegetables and meats. We are considering getting some chickens next year so we can have fresh eggs right from our own chickens. (I’ll let you know how that goes. . .)

I was thrilled to buy local honey from a local beekeeper and non-GMO cornmeal from a local farmer when I visited an agricultural festival this past weekend. I continually look for opportunities to not only support local vendors but also to keep my family as safe from contaminated foods as possible. To that end, I am also a very careful cook and follow food safety procedures in my kitchen. (Don’t you love the picture of the farmer in his overalls next to his sign?)

Do these recalls of peanut butter, cantaloupes, dog food, and romaine lettuce bother you? Do you take any steps to stay safe?  Diane

12 thoughts on “Are You Concerned About The Safety of Your Food?

  1. Stephanie G Travis says:

    I don’t have children, so my awareness and concerns are different from those who do. I do my best to follow food safety guidelines, but after that, I think it’s out of my control. Just like a car accident or a tree falling on me during a hurricane. Drive safe and cut down dying trees. But after that, it’s out of my control. I could stop buying prepared foods, stop driving and cut down all the trees in my yard. But then life becomes a prison where I am scared of living and scared of dying.

    I often watch Restaurant Impossible (TV show) and am reminded that even in the best restaurants, there are issues with sanitation when someone else prepares your food. I think there always has been and always will be as long as viruses and bacteria live on the planet with us.

  2. Caron says:

    I am definitely concerned about food safety. Thank you for giving us the link to sign up for alerts. I stopped buying bagged salad after my husband got sick from it. I knew it wasn’t a great idea but it was just so easy. It’s still easy to buy fresh romaine and use that. Unfortunately, fresh romaine is sometimes recalled too. We do what we can. Thanks for a great post. 🙂

  3. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    YES! I am concerned & it is happening so frequently & as you said – so wide spread & not knowing where the food is coming form,, scary!! I do get alerts on recalls & I have been posting & tweeting about this nut butter one due to how many fitness peeps eat the nut butters!!!

  4. Dr. J says:

    I pay attention, but as another commenter referred to, I try to stay out of “prison.”

    With my background in health care, I believe our immune system is key! Eat the foods, exercise your body, and avoid obvious immune downers to support that and you will have your best chance to live healthy.

  5. Stacy says:

    The food recalls do concern me, too. It is hard for us to buy locally grown year round here in the north. I have an organic CSA box every week during the summer/fall growing season, and I freeze what we don’t use. I get our beef from a friend and buy other meat from a local butcher shop in my husbands’ hometown. However, we still get lots of stuff from the grocery store, from ketchup, broth, milk and pasta. It is hard if you don’t make everything from scratch. 🙁

  6. Sharon says:

    Yes, it concerns me, but it also sometimes becomes overwhelming. Guess my philosophy has become to just do the best that I can. Like you, we don’t eat out a lot because of this. Interesting story about Chik-Fil-A however……my husband is a college professor and often has students who work there as they have a good scholarship program. They often talk about how stringent Chik-Fil-A is with their cleanliness and sanitary procedures. He has been told you could “eat off the floor.” I suspect those kinds of things vary by location and local management. Thanks for the link to the email alert!

  7. KarenJ says:

    I am concerned, but there is so much that is outside our control as we have to get our food from somewhere. Certainly avoiding processed foods can help, but when it hits fruits and vegetables, there isn’t much we can do since I live in an area that has to rely on out of state product at certain times of the year. That being said, I have begun to stop buying fruits and vegetables that are not “in season” for the most part. I still need lettuce for my salads, but I try to make sure they are coming from as close as possible. I have never gotten sick from food, thank goodness, but as a previous poster said, you can’t live in fear or you would have to eliminate a lot from your diet.

  8. Marc says:

    I suppose that unless we are growing it in our own backyard, we all are eating Las Vegas style. (No, not the all you can eat buffet) I’m saying we raise our arm, put it in our mouths, swallow and take our chances. In other words…it’s a gamble.

  9. Joe says:

    Food Saftey is something I should pay attention to more often. I of course here about the big recalls that make the headlines but not every recall makes it to the nightly news. During the summer and fall months I go to the Farmers Market a lot for our veggies. I feel like since it’s not massed produced there is less of a chance to get tainted food.

  10. KCLAnderson (Karen) says:

    I sure am concerned and, like you, am wary of eating out and will not eat at any sort of fast food or even mid-range chain restaurant. There are very few places I feel good about eating out at. I buy produce, meat and poultry from local farms (we’re lucky because there’s a fantastic co-op in our town). I wash stuff too!!

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