Olsen Erik D. in his scientific research article “Protecting food safety” looks at the situation regarding a safe food supply in the United States. Statically, about 47 million Americans suffer each year from various illnesses caused by food. Of them, almost 3,000 people die. Nearly a million of the population develops long-term chronic diseases, for example, arthritis, neural, and heart and vascular problems. Such illnesses are usually caused by pathogens that are present in the process of food production, preparation, etc. Scientists have also found out that sodium and artificial fats are the major cause of the population’s cardiovascular problems. The FDA established that certain chemicals are present in our daily food, for example, mercury in fish. Foodborne microbes can appear in food due to the incorrect animal manure, or contaminated water used for irrigation. Testing results in 2007 showed that 80 percent of chickens for sale in stores carried Salmonella. Pathogens were also found in raw turkey and raw beef. Another key issue is the daily use of antibiotics in animals. This causes long-term resistant bacteria to antibiotics that are dangerous to the human health. It is known that the US consumes packaged food significantly more than other countries. Processed food contains additives. Besides, lots of contaminants are present in fish food - tuna can contain a high concentration of mercury. Therefore, a warning has been issued to avoid certain fish.
The United States food safety system was established in 1906. Today, the respective tasks are divided between the FDA and the Department of Agriculture. In 2011, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law to address risks from all foods. The new statute requires food processing companies to state the possible contamination during food production and to prevent it. Alongside, imported food has to meet the same high standards as domestic food. Federal grants are available now for surveillance and testing of foodborne illnesses.
“Does one size fit all?” basically looks at small farms and their struggle to keep up with the U.S. meat Regulations. It states that local farms are gaining a high level of popularity with consumers. It happens because small producers tend to use less chemicals and antibiotics. As a result, both consumers and the environment benefit. However, many small farms are struggling economically due to centralization of farming. This shows that new rules need to be established to define measurable standards of sanitation and quality for all players. Food safety and sanitation controls have been defined in the country since 1906. Lately, technology with high quality sensors that can establish Escherichia coli was added. E. coli disease quite often affects consumers. A large incident took place in 1992 in hamburger restaurants that killed 4 and affected hundreds of people. In 1998, HACCP management for meat and poultry farms was established. The aim was to minimize the foodborne illness risk. Its main causes are Salmonella, and E. coli found in raw milk. Half the states, therefore, restrict the sale of raw milk. Raw milk is seen as a threat to the public health. A proposed law would mean that farmers still can sell raw milk via retailers. Unfortunately, the law prohibits the sale of butter, etc. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, in 2006 alone 100 foodborne illnesses occurred due to consumption of raw milk and cheese. On the other hand, raw milk supporters argue that pasteurized milk lacks good bacteria and proteins that play a vital role in supporting an immune system.
USDA has lately developed a more favorable approach to help small producers. It came up with two initiatives: giving out fact sheets and educational materials to help design their food safety systems; providing them with resources about important daily practices. Moreover, small farm owners are encouraged to apply to land grant universities and local trade associations for professional assistance.