USDA Makes Effort To Prevent Food-Borne Illness

With summertime quickly approaching, picnics and barbecue’s offer prime opportunities for food-borne illnesses to surface.

Preventing outbreaks will be a huge shift from past strategies which offer response tactics.

Consumers can choose meats last and keep the packages away from other foods.

Avoid putting your hands in your mouth or rubbing your eyes before thoroughly washing your hands.

It is also recommended to carrying an alcohol-based gel or wipes containing a small amount of bleach to clean yourself up after handling a package.

The new direction, which focuses on prevention and faster response times, is a huge improvement over past USDA practices, says Philip M. Tierno Jr., PhD, director of clinical microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center and clinical professor at the NYU School of Medicine.

“We will likely see a reduction in unnecessary illnesses and possibly the prevention of a [death] or two,” says Tierno, author of The Secret Life of Germs.

Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest also supports the USDA’s shift in priorities.

Pink Slime Meets The Highest Standard For Food Safety

Time to re-evaluate our standards!

The USDA is defending the use of “pink slime”

The USDA, schools and school districts plan to buy the treated meat, categorized as “lean fine textured beef,” from South Dakota’s Beef Products Inc (BPI) for the national school lunch program.

The BPI product makes up about 6.5% of the 112 million pounds of ground beef that has been contracted for the National School Lunch Program, the USDA said.

There has been much debate over the ammonia washed, lean, fine, texturized beef.

The USDA’s defense of the safety of this product draws attention to the standards and practices of the agency.

The benefits of free-range eggs

Here’s some interesting information on the benefits of free-range eggs over regular eggs. Basically, they are much more nutritious:

This only makes sense considering the chickens are allowed to consume their natural diet, which includes seeds, insects, green plants and worms. Compared to U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from chickens raised on a pasture may contain the following: two-thirds more vitamin A; two times more omega-3 fatty acids; three times more vitamin E; and seven times more beta carotene. The problem with eggs labeled “free-range” is that the USDA defines free-range as chickens having access to the outside. The problem with this definition is it doesn’t define their diets or what “outside access” means. Under this definition, the chickens can have access to a cement courtyard while eating an unnatural diet that includes soy, corn and cottonseed meals, and still be called free range. (Mother Earth News. Oct/Nov, 2007)

Now you need to figure out where you can purchase real free-range eggs.

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