A Consumer Role in Food Safety?

SAGE has posted many articles on the rollout of the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the new law’s unmistakable focus on holding the food industry responsible for preventing costly recalls that endanger the public.

But what about the public — food consumers? Do they have a role to play in assuring a safe food supply?

The answer depends upon what you mean by responsibility. Obviously, no one is going to bring charges against a housewife who undercooks chicken, or a teenager who loves to snack on raw cookie dough. These are mistakes, not criminal actions, although they can endanger health — the housewife’s family or the teenager.

Still, a recent decision by a prominent food manufacturer to recall 10 million pounds of raw flour presents a rare case of the industry saving consumers from themselves by withdrawing from sale an item that if ingested prior to heating, baking or frying can create serious intestinal problems. The recall was prompted by reports that people were eating raw flour, the company said.

Here’s a link to a blog by SAGE consultant Paul Bernish that explores this issue in more detail.

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