Food safety is a big deal. Even though the United States has a very safe food supply, the CDC estimates that over 48 million people in the US get sick with a food borne illness every year (that’s 1 out of 6 people), and 3000 die from these illnesses. This number may be even higher, because some people with a food borne illness may not seek medical attention if their symptoms are mild.
When most people talk about food safety, they are thinking about farmers growing a safe product (whether it is meat, eggs, milk, fruits, or vegetables), about food processors taking precautions to ensure the safety of the food (during handling, packaging, and transport), about grocery stores storing foods appropriately (at the proper temperature, and watching for expiration dates), and about restaurants handling, preparing, and cooking food the right way.
Everyone has a role in food safety.
I am writing a series of posts over at The Real Farmwives of America & Friends this year about food safety, and how you can help to ensure safe food for your families. I am also kicking off a series right here about food safety. Since it’s getting to be garden season, we’ll start off with a series of posts about food safety during home canning by Amy from A Latte with Ott, A. Amy is a fellow Real Farmwife, and a prolific canner, and I am very excited to have her talk to you about canning safety. After that, I’ll be talking about the 6 most important food borne illnesses – what causes them, how they are diagnosed, what farmers and others in the food system are doing to prevent them, and how you can help prevent them in your own home. I’ll also be talking about the Healthy People 2020 campaign, what their goals are for decreasing food borne illnesses, and how you can help.
What questions do you have about food safety? Leave them below in the comments. I’ll answer what I can in the comments section. If there are more complicated questions, I’ll work that into a future post here.