Most consumers are no stranger to food safety and the benefits of responsible practices, however, a few changes to the rules of the game may be a bit hard to swallow. The age-old saying about “being equal to what is consumed” is a staple of health-conscious individuals who strive for a more fulfilling lifestyle through responsible food and beverage choices. When the integrity of the product is called into question, even on foods that were previously deemed safe, it becomes more difficult to make the informed decisions necessary to lower the risk of complications associated with unhealthy eating.
Food safety is a division of science that governs the proper handling and management of food, identifying practices which ensure that the risk and presence of contamination remains as close to nonexistence as possible. The observance of these routines and practices assures that pathogens and bacteria that can contribute to food poisoning and other potentially severe health hazards do not come into contact with consumers. Following this sentiment, the operating principle guidelines of the World Health Organization were established to uphold the theoretical certainty that food-borne illness is 100 percent avoidable. These points center on preventing contamination that stems from contact with other biological sources, the separation of raw from cooked foods, the appropriate preparation and proceeding storage of cooked foods, and the usage of safe water and cooked materials.
Another area of food safety that is more commonly overlooked is within the labeling of distributed products among consumers. There have been multiple lawsuits in the past against corporations for their negligence in the area of correct labeling. However, this issue stems deeper that some would think, and does not merely stop at indications of potential allergens. Recently, Naked Juice was involved in a class action lawsuit over the misleading “All Natural” phrasing that was brandished across all of their marketed fruit and vegetable smoothie beverages. Developments that took a deeper look in the manufacturing of these health drinks uncovered that there are several Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) hiding among these claims. For the countless numbers of food health conscious individuals who enjoy these beverages as a convenient alternative to fresh fruits and vegetables, such a startling omission by the Pepsi Co. subsidiary was a hard thing to swallow.
A much more traditionally recognized aspect of food safety in proper labeling is the inclusion of expiration dates on packaging of consumable products. Although there is no federal mandate requiring the specification of whether or not a product is within a period of optimal consumption dates, most manufactures have adopted a system of clarification for this purpose.
The observance of the nutritional values found in food products is another region of food safety which is of significant concern to many. Although there are clear inclusions of detailed ingredient lists on regularly purchased items, the true nature of most goes unnoticed. Experts agree that it is important when managing individual health and wellness to always be aware of the ingredients which are being consumed on a regular basis. There are countless records on the adverse effects that artificial additives, colors, and flavors can have on the body. Advocates of healthier living stress that it is important to realize how certain diets can influence individual health and warn consumers to be armed with the knowledge of proper nutritional practices in order to avoid the potentially hard-to-swallow outcomes that can result from the negligence of basic food safety.
Written by Darrell Purcell