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When Is The Retailer Responsible For Food Safety??

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, April 29, 2013

Everyone is in favor of food safety, and we have written extensively about the topic:

Botulism And Carrot Juice Summary

FDA Import Alert: Honduran Cantaloupe

Food Safety Leadership Council

Food Safety Roundup

NRA Food Safety Round-up

Special Edition — Pistachio Recall

Salmonella Saintpaul

Spinach Crisis

Sprouts Round Up


And much more. There is, however, a terrible injustice in that all the attention is paid to growers and processors, and others in the supply chain are given a bit of a free pass.

This is not right. Although growers and processors are the first line of defense against foodborne illness, these are products that grow in the dirt, in exposure to the wind and rain. A total absence of pathogens is a goal unlikely to ever be achieved.

So all parts of the supply chain have an obligation to engage in proper care and handling so as to minimize any potential for growth and multiplication of pathogens.

This all seems so obvious, so how is it possible that in the year 2013, the Pundit could be visiting a Woodman’s Markets store in Illinois and come across this rack:

It is a non-refrigerated rack in which fresh-cut salad mixes are dumped to be sold at reduced prices.

Taking old fresh-cuts and putting them in non-refrigerated discount bins??

Is anybody thinking?

Then if someone gets sick or dies, everyone will blame the processor or grower.

Something is very wrong with this picture.

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