Monday, September 12, 2011
Lessons From Europe in the E. Coli Outbreak
Perhaps we have focused too much on traceability and should put more resources into epidemiology. Perhaps the imbalance is resources to traceability is because it provides concrete results that can immediately be demonstrated and showcased. In addition, large businesses already invested in traceback ability. Traceability is important, but traceability matters little if the epidemiology is incorrect or incomplete.
Jim Prevor wrote, "People are dropping dead from eating food and we are too cowardly to suggest irradiation. This is bizarre. The failure of public health authorities to demand the use of irradiation is evidence of a politically influenced establishment that is not, in fact, putting public health first."
Of course, public resistance to the technology is also a reason for underutilization of irradiation. However, there is no doubt that irradiation of produce that is eaten raw could save many lives. For more information on this topic, visit the NPR website Irradiation Underused To Fight E. Coli in Foods.