Foxes Guarding Chicken Coops (and Other Food) Leads to Disease

Monday, October 25, 2010
What’s good for business isn’t always good for public health, which sums up the problem with the food inspection system in the United States.
Making sure poultry farms or meatpacking plants are clean isn’t completely a job that is being performed by the federal government. Instead, these facilities and others supplying the $1 trillion food industry are inspected by the private sector. This system, according to The Washington Post, “is rife with conflicts of interest, inexperienced auditors and cursory inspections” that have failed to prevent numerous outbreaks of salmonella in recent years.
In fact, companies responsible for allowing tainted food to reach consumers often have received high scores from inspectors before outbreaks occurred.
For instance, Wright County Egg and the Peanut Corp. of America were awarded “superior” food ratings by inspectors only months before their products were recalled because of salmonella.
David Acheson, former assistant commissioner for food protection at the Food and Drug Administration under President George W. Bush, summed up the problem with the inspection system when he told The Washington Post: “It’s a business strategy, not a public-health strategy.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Food Inspection Is Often Flawed (by Lena H. Sun, Washington Post)


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