In addition to good stewardship practices that are utilized by food producers, retailers, and restaurants there is a very sophisticated food regulatory system that puts hurdles in place to insure that or country’s food supply continues to be the safest in the world. Dan Hale is a Professor and Texas A&M Agrilife Meat Specialist.
“First of all, it’s in the farmer or ranchers interest to produce healthy, safe, happy animals, for example. Or to do the best job that they can with their land and resources so that they’re able to use that land and those resources in future generations.”
Hale says that both the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration also oversee our food production.
“Every single animal health product, whether it’s an antibiotic or a vaccine that we use in cattle has to be approved and gone through a strenuous approval process with the Food and Drug Administration before that’s allowed to be used.”
Hale points out that beef cattle animals will be looked at a minimum of five times during the processing.
“They look at that animal while it’s still alive. They look at that animal as it’s being harvested. They look for any signs of disease, any signs of contamination, and then ultimately they do a final inspection at the very end before they’re allowed, that product’s allowed to go into the human food chain. And every single beef animal or chicken on the package or on the meat product with something that says inspected and passed.”
Hale says that people that sell the product want to protect their individual brands.
“And so they have, inherently put in their own systems in place to make sure that food safety is never compromised in that system. And in addition to that you have County Health and Municipal Health Agencies that are overseeing restaurants and overseeing those processes.”
Hale says people tend to see recalls as a bad thing.
“But really that’s showing that the system is working. The recall says hey we found out, generally a lot of time that happens usually while the product’s in transit and on very rare occasions it might get into commerce.”