“There are certain things only a government can do. And one of those things is ensuring that the foods we eat are safe and do not cause us harm.” - President Obama
The current FDA recalls on such a common foodstuff as eggs has got many of us thinking about food safety. Today, the latest news on the recalls says the numbers of potentially contaminated eggs under recall may continue to increase. It is this kind of situation that can encourage people to seek out good resources to keep on top of food safety and related issues. One of the best available resources is the government website FoodSafety.gov.
FoodSafety.gov is a comprehensive site sponsored by many government branches and agencies including the White House, the CDC, the USDA and the FDA, to name a few. This cross section of scientific, medical and regulatory knowledge can help consumers find answers to many different types of questions, all on one site. FoodSafety.gov also includes podcasts, a blog, a Twitter feed and news links for educators and the media.
The site contains information on all aspects of food safety including tips about proper storage and cooking, as well as news about current recalls. Sections include information on meat, eggs and dairy, as well as vegetables. There are additional sections of the site dedicated to food borne illnesses such as those due to E. coli, salmonella or parasites. These sections describe what the causes of the illnesses are, what foods are the usual culprits, the common symptoms and treatment. There are links throughout the site to ask a question of an expert and to report a problem.
FoodSafety.gov also includes information on what the government is currently doing to regulate the food industry. There is information on food inspections and compliance, on current recalls and on the import and export of food.
Finally, a legal note. Since the country is currently faced with large FDA recalls, if you are exposed to a recalled food and become sick, it may be a good plan keep a record of the dates, food involved and medical care received. No one ever hopes for a lawsuit, but if you or a family member become sick and have large medical bills due to a recalled food, it may make it easier to be reimbursed for those bills if the details of the incident clearly recorded and easily available.