So what? Produce-safety testing program given reprieve

Posted on July 17, 2012 by

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by Doug Powell

Policy requires tough choices, and rhetorical appeal.

Accuracy also helps.

According to an AP story, “the U.S. Agriculture Department grudgingly extended the life of the nation’s largest produce-safety testing program on Monday, just as the initiative was slated to be shut down.”

The largest produce testing programs are in industry. What’s more important is that the data be made public so taxpayers don’t have to pay what’s already been done.

“The tiny program samples thousands of high-risk fruits and vegetables for pathogens each year, and has found more than two dozen bacteria-laced examples that prompted recalls of lettuce, tomatoes and other foods from grocery stores.”

Seek and ye shall find. Did the program prevent any outbreaks? Probably not. That’s because preventing the bugs setting up shop is far more important, especially with fresh produce, than testing.

As food safety czar Mike Taylor said the other day, there’s so much more that goes into the safety of produce.
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Posted in: Family safety