Friday, June 15, 2018

Bad Stuff on My Mind: Salmonella in our Food

You know, it seems as if there are way too many outbreaks of food-borne illnesses happening this year. The numbers reported may not seem huge, but for every verified case there are undoubtedly many more that remain unreported and uncounted.

I haven't eaten this cereal for a few years,
but I used to love it. If you have any on hand,
you are supposed to throw it away!
  • The recall last winter of romaine lettuce was what started me worrying: five deaths and around 200 verified cases of e. coli poisoning between March 13 and June 1, 2018, affecting people in 35 states. It's supposed to be over now. (source)
  • Salmonella has been found this week in my childhood favorite cereal, Kellog's Honey Smacks -- "73 victims in 31 states for whom the CDC has information."(source)
  • Salmonella in pre-cut melons last week infected 60 people, including 32 here in Michigan. At least 31 have been hospitalized. A food processing plant in Indiana supplied the melon to be sold alone or in fruit salads at stores including Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Walgreens and Trader Joe’s. (source)
  • 207 million eggs were recalled for salmonella in April in an outbreak now thought to be over. The eggs were distributed in 10 states, and came from a processing and breeding plant that previously had been cited for numerous health and cleanliness violations. (source)
  • "During the past few years, outbreaks of Salmonella illness have been linked to contaminated cucumbers, chicken, eggs, pistachios, raw tuna, sprouts, and many other foods." (source)
Ultimately the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are the major (if not the only) institution that protects and informs us about these outbreaks. Their ability to perform identification, tracing, and recalls for food contamination are critical to the well-being of the American public, whether we know it or not. CDC funding has been jeopardized by current politics, and that worries me more than any of the rest of this information. Widespread anti-government sentiment among many voters, objection to any government regulation, and ability of big businesses to buy their way out of oversight add to my worries.

9 comments:

judee said...

Mae,
I agree it is scary. It makes you wonder how many more might be having problems but not sick enough to be hospitalized or see a doctor- can't believe it can be in the cereal.. I thought it was just in fresh food.

Beth F said...

It's a scary world

Jeanie said...

Wonder if I should eat the pre-cut melon in my fruit salad now. Its scary as all get out and this administration -- which makes me angry on any number of levels -- is messing with so many things that keep us safe or healthy. CDC is a big deal for many reasons. My mind whirls.

Jeff the Chef said...

I just noticed that you live in A2. I used to live there! Have many fond memories. Anyway, I don't know whether I should be more disturbed by salmonella in cereal, or by that sugar bomb you're eating for breakfast! (Just kidding … I eat my fair share of sugary cereal, but I curse Kellogg every day for making it the American breakfast norm.)

Deb in Hawaii said...

Very scary for sure. You kind of accept it (sadly) in melons, greens and eggs and other fresh or even frozen foods, but cereal is less expected and just seems worse. :-(

Claudia said...

I just try to be careful about what I eat, and haven't had any of those sugary cereals since childhood. But you can never be completely safe in this life.

Vicki said...

Scary indeed! It's enough to make you want to only eat what you grow yourself.

Nan said...

I agree with what Vicky said. And eat as much local and organic that you can.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm surprised about cereal. I always thought of salmonella as infecting fresh foods. Interesting!