Anyone in the culinary industry should be familiar with the novel, The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair. Sinclair wrote this novel about the dangers of the Chicago meat packing industry and the frightening state of food quality that came from the 1920’s. His book made such an impact upon the public, that the federal government founded the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA then set in place standards and practices of food laws. Today, however, we are stricken as a public by troublesome news every few weeks it seems, about there being an outbreak of e coli or tainted food (feel free to do you own homework). The new law is the first in seventy years and will usher in brand new standards and powers to the FDA in order to keep what we consume, safe.
Slap On The Wrists
The problem that struck the FDA in recent times, was the inability to directly punish companies that broke safety laws. They were able to negotiate recalls with the faulty parties, but never directly force them to do it. That’s all changed with this new law. The FDA can now order mandatory recall’s and are going to hire 17,000 new people to conduct inspections.
Finding The Needle In The Haystack
With all the new manpower that the FDA will have, they should have no issues increasing the safety of food overall, and preventing as frequent outbreaks of contamination. The new law establishes a tracking system that will quickly pinpoint where contaminants are found. Today, we have severe issues with corporate agriculture companies like Tyson and Cargill who import meat products from all over the world. The next time you bite into a hamburger, you maybe be eating a little bit of Japan, China, Canada, Texas, Chile, and Montana. So much for knowing about where your food comes from.
Safe And Sound
The great part of this new law is the fact that most Americans will go back to eating breakfast. They won’t shy away from spinach or lettuce because the little voice in their minds eye tells them they might get sick. Everyone should be able to eat good wholesome food without the fear of growing ill or possibly dying from its consumption. I, for one, hope this starts a new trend for better health regulation in general, and a sign that we won’t give up the one thing we truly enjoy as cooks: food.