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July 17, 2008

More Food Borne Illness Spreads

Once again proof that food in the United States is not safe emerges. The E. coli outbreak that was issued last month in Michigan and Ohio has been extended. New York, Kentucky and Indiana have also been added to the list. Apparently each state has one lab confirmed case of bacterial infection, meaning that there are probably other milder cases that will not or have not been diagnosed.

Kroger supermarkets, a store that I’ve frequented in the last month or so, recalled ground beef in Michigan and Ohio. The recall will cover 5.3 million pounds of beef. What a waste! Think about all of the cattle that died to make that beef. Think about all of the people that may become sick because of it. 44 illnesses have been attributed to E.coli which is the strand that produces a deadly bacterial infection. One person has developed kidney failure but no one has died, yet. The illnesses occurred between May 30 and June 24. Now with a few cases showing up in other states, it is likely that the illness will continue to spread.

What is going on with the food supply? Who exactly is in charge of making sure that the food supply is safe? Apparently no one. It is no wonder that South Koreans are rushing to the streets in protest of beef products. They have a right to be concerned about the beef that is being produced in this country. If we are eating bacterial ridden beef ourselves, what do you think is being exported?

I do not buy beef from Kroger but I have in the past. I stopped some time ago because I was leery of some of the other products that I found on the shelves there. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with Kroger, but it is a massive corporation. Let’s be real about things. Corporations care about profits, not people and that means customers and employees alike. So if you are working in a factory where beef is processed and you are feeling not so cared about, what are the odds of you doing your job well? Average, at best, I would say.

There needs to be a reevaluation of how business is carried out in this country. The margin pay margin between employees and bosses is too large. Unions create a comfortable mentality in workers that can lead to laziness. There has to be some happy medium where workers and employers both are satisfied with what is happening money wise. We have to start caring more about people and less about profits. Money is important but think about all of the money that Kroger will lose now that it has had to recall all of that beef? Wouldn’t it be easier to make sure that those employees in the processing plant are happier, more educated and monitored than leaving them unhappy and prone to mistakes? Seems to make sense to me but then again, I don’t have a corporation. I guess I am totally lacking the corporate mentality.

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