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Posts Tagged ‘Banquet’

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information” (TM)

“Looking at the top articles at the New York Times, I was struck by one about how the food manufacturers are dealing with increased outbreaks of food poisoning. It caught my eye especially now, as my daughter is about to give birth to her first child.

All of us have been trying to conscientiously follow the guidelines given to her by her physicians / nurse practitioners. And, once her baby is finished with breast-feeding, we’ll be looking to protect a curious toddler. So, what’s going on NOW that we should be concerned about?

Well, it seems that the largest multinational corporations are taking the tack that ‘the end responsibility for your food belongs to the consumer!’ and they are not finishing all the safety food production aspects, necessarily.

In some cases, that’s almost totally true that we must be aware and take responsibility, and in other cases, it’s hardly true. But, it’s a convenient strategy for the corporation!

To be able to “judge” the safety of a product, you need its “provenance”  (history), and up until recently, the manufacturer’s associations weren’t interested in helping you know anything!

Now, after last year’s pot-pie scare from Banquet (ConAgra’s budget line), the sneaky secrets are out about who was and wasn’t testing and what kinds of things were found. All of this knowledge is imperative for pregnant women, young children, the elderly and chronically ill — like diabetics.

According to the Times article, I’ll be suggesting Amy’s Natural Foods (I think they are still in Santa Rosa, CA and as a family business, quality is prime). They’ve always been excellent.

And, I’ll continue to downgrade my use of the “big-guys”: Nestle (Stouffer), Con-Agra (Banquet and others),  Blackstone Group (Swanson and Hungry-Man) as all of them evidenced “problems” of one sort or another. Imagine what the lesser financed factories are doing!

You must learn more about food-safety. Learn more at www.fightbac.org and DO buy an instant thermometer and USE it!

The estimated use of these thermometers, by Americans, is 3%. That’s terrible and terrifying.

Frozen foods instructions are being re-written (but some companies are still using old packages with now inaccurate instructions! Dumb, huh!)

Less companies are allowing microwave instructions. Microwave ovens have erratic geographical heating — they leave “cold spots” in the foods, places where the food is not cooked to proper, safe temperatures.  Many less expensive microwave ovens also are not powerful enough (they need to be at least 1100 watts — see the metal label usually on the back of the machine).

Regular ovens take longer but heat more evenly and thoroughly. They are now “preferred”. So much for convenience.

When the scientists looked for pathogens in various foodborne disease outbreaks, they found it in domestic and imported ingredients, and even in 8% of spices! But, lacking a “history” trail, most problem sources are not found. Proper handling at home is your ONLY defense.

The bac.org site will help you learn all you need to know. Pay attention to proper handling for:  the convenience canned and frozen and fresh foods, to the unprocessed fresh foods, to foods from your gardens or friends’ gardens.

That does not mean being paranoid. It means being savvy, knowledgeable, careful and consistent.

You can read the NY Times article here.

I haven’t had time at the moment to keep up with my pantry project. I’ll get back to it as soon as possible (ASAP). But, I was horrified to see this article about the manufacturers leaving the last-and-most-important safety steps up to the consumer. You need to contest this, and make sure you cook things and care for foods properly.

Have a good week.

Best to all — Em

(c)2009 Em at http://diabetedietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you want to quote from or use my article, please respect my copyright. Just include my copyright citation and website address in your footnotes or Reference section. Thanks!

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