A Food Safety Primer (Infographic) | Civil Eats

A Food Safety Primer (Infographic)

A recent recall of 36 million pounds of salmonella-contaminated turkey by the company Cargill reminded Americans once again about the failings of our food safety system. While the debt deal struck earlier this month puts funding for the Food Safety Modernization Act, which passed in 2010 and will help the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) improve the safety of our food, at risk, there is information that can empower consumers now. Below is a comprehensive info graphic by the Heath and Fitness Blog Greatist.com that explains what you need to know about shopping for, handling and cooking food more safely, as well as a briefing on the sources of food-borne illness.

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Paula Crossfield is a founder and the Editor-at-large of Civil Eats. She is also a co-founder of the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Her reporting has been featured in The Nation, Gastronomica, Index Magazine, The New York Times and more, and she has been a contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show on New York Public Radio. An avid cook and gardener, she currently lives in Oakland. Read more >

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  1. While this graphic is obviously useful, it doesn't go far enough.. there should be connections made as to WHY the food needs such precautions.

    Food is not necessarily dangerous in and of itself - what is industry's/gov's role in creating an unsafe food system? What is ours?
  2. Richard
    What if Commenter 1's suggestion made the graphic less effective as a safety guide for consumers? What if Commenter 1's suggestions made the graphic ineffective because consumers felt it was trying to preach to them? What if Commenter 1's suggestion managed to make a graphic that actually annoyed consumers so that they routinely ignored or even flouted its advice? Would Commenter 1 still want those connections made in the graphic?
  3. This graphic is wonderful -- thank you so much for sharing it. I might have to post it on my own blog (with credit to you, natch)!
  4. To Kristy's point, there's certainly a need for deeper thought around the root problem, but this is a nicely accessible tool for the average consumer to quickly navigate their grocery store. One thing we've learned at Foodtree is that on-ramps to deeper insight into food consumption is critical to bring the massess along. We're trying to empower the people who put in the ground work; the Doers. People who have deep insight into food and food safety - how do we give them tools to document and share the things they know about food, food businesses, and food sources? Our mission is to surface that knowledge for wider use by other food lovers (and future food lovers).

    Point is, there's a spectrum of insight into food; some are further along and more deliberate about their consumption. They spend time looking for food prepared certain ways, or by certain producers. They care about seasonality or production methods (or both). On the other hand, some are still learning...many are hoping to 'consumer better', but need easy tools to get started. This problem is complex, and always will be. I think this infographic and other tools that make knowledge/insight more accessible or digestible (pun unintended) are on measure a positive step in the right direction.
  5. Linda J
    This is very fine, colorful and helpful. So wonderful of you individuals to do this for people who care to pay attention and utilize this for themselves and or family and good health.

    Now if we could only change the guidelines of food safety regarding pesticides etc. in this country, for those and preservatives and processing; are dangerous substances that people are sometimes consuming too much of.

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