Thankful for food safety

In Featured Posts by Prof17 Comments

This is the time of years when the food sections of nearly every newspaper will contain articles on food safety and tips to make sure your holidays are disease-free. No matter, the odds are there will be plenty of day-after stories of people eating undercooked turkey, raw oysters, or some other ill-prepared or contaminated food.

One of the questions we will address is who exactly is responsible for foodborne disease outbreaks. Is it the consumer who may not have followed the instructions? Or is it the manufacturer, processor, restaurant, or retailer who sold contaminated foods? What about the government who is supposed to keep us safe?

Another issue we will discuss concerns the issues of safety and the level of risk we are willing to assume. Can foods ever be 100% safe? What level of exposure is reasonable? If the government said no food (raw or otherwise) could contain any Salmonella or Campylobacter, none of us will be eating turkey next week.


ProfThankful for food safety


  1. Elizabeth

    I think the blame should be given to the individual who prepares the food. As a child it was ingrained in my head that one must fully cook their chicken and eggs or you might get sick. If someone chooses to not follow food safety procedures with their food, then it is their fault they get sick. That being said if they go to a restaurant and the cook does not prepare the food at the proper temperature, the cook should be the one to blame as they themselves did not follow the safety procedures.

    1. Madeline

      When it comes to restaurant food, the consumer usually expects to be eating a safe meal. Restaurants want to have safe food and are generally conscious of cooking times/temps because they want customers to come back and spend more money. It depends on the situation when deciding if it’s the cook’s fault or the food provider’s fault. If the illness is due to undercooked food, then it is obviously the cook’s fault. On the other hand, if it is a food such as carpaccio (raw meat) then it is more likely the providers fault for not supplying good quality meat knowing it will not be cooked.

  2. Nevada

    I agree with Elizabeth that the food preparer should be the one responsible when food born disease outbreaks occur-in most cases. If the manufacturer, processor, or retailer all follow the rules and regulations of the government, the preparer of the food is left to blame. For example, on raw cookie dough packages there is a warning that says, “Do not eat raw cookie dough.” I still eat the raw cookie dough even though there is a clear label on the package not to. If I were to ever get sick, I would blame it on myself that I did not follow the instructions on the package.

  3. Luke

    I think that it’s the consumer’s fault to make sure that the food they eat is not contaminated. Turkey is completely safe if it cooked properly. The companies that sell the turkeys make it abundantly clear that if the turkey isn’t cooked properly then it isn’t safe for consumption. No food can ever be 100% safe but if the turkey isn’t safe to eat its because of the consumer.

  4. Tanner

    In my opinion, I think that the consumer would be at fault in a situation like this because they should know to thoroughly cook their food to prevent from getting sick. But I also think that when attending a restaurant the consumer doesn’t have the choice to make sure that their food is thoroughly cooked and they just expect the food to be cooked correctly. On any ordinary day, a consumer can control this if they cook their meat to the correct temperature to kill all of the bad bacteria that might be in their food. So I think that it would be the consumers fault if they were to get sick on Thanksgiving because of a undercooked turkey.

  5. Phillip

    If someone were to eat undercooked turkey, chances are that this is because the consumer did not cook the food long enough. All of the instructions on how long these items should be cooked are clearly stated on the packaging. The companies who produce these products are not able to oversee how every item they make is being consumed. After a certain point, the onus is on the consumer to do their job and cooked their food correctly. It just simply isn’t possible for food companies to be able to manage how these people are using their products.

  6. Zixiang

    Food safety is really important at this time, which is obviously related to our bodies’ health. In addition, food safety problems had occurred in both developing countries and industrialized countries before, which resulted in lots of people became very sick, or even died because of it. Therefore, each government is paying highly attention to it. From my prospective, it is comparatively hard to prevent all food safety problems, but we can work hard together to minimize the possibilities of them from happening. Therefore, enhancing the supervision mechanism of the government, reinforcing the food inspection method of the food manufacturers, as well as improving the raw material qualities from the producers, and then this problem can be solved step by step in the future.

  7. Chun

    Food safety came into stage when more food born diseases affect human beings life. We used lots of methods to prevent them from happening. Although there are still risks appear in food, we have HACCP system and GMP to lower the contamination. In order to make sure the health of all the customers, we need to prevent contamination from the source and each step has to confirm clean and appropriate operation. As for the customers, they should pay more attention to make the raw material fully cooked and avoid of the diseases.

  8. Jenna

    Food safety has become a trivial part of the Thanksgiving holiday. The way to handle raw meats and kill the bacteria has been very refined over the years. has safety guidelines for the turkey from the store to the plate. There are now set temperatures in different parts of the bird. Such as the breast is safe at 160 degrees Fahrenheit and the wing is supposed to reach 175 degrees Fahrenheit. There are safer ways to thaw the turkey rather than letting it sit at room temperature. Microwaving, refrigerating, or even cooking a frozen turkey are safer thawing alternatives. There is also safety guidelines for leftovers. It is best to cut the leftover turkey into smaller pieces and store in smaller containers so it will cool fast and even. On top of those procedures there are many other food safety guidelines for the turkey. Even though Thanksgiving may cause foodborne illness, we have come a long way from the first Thanksgiving.

  9. Andi

    I think that the consumer would be the one for whose fault it would be because they need to be the one to make sure that the food is cooked to the right temperature. Not everyone can be there and make sure that the food is cooked to the right temperature or properly. There is always going to be that concern of if your food is going to be cooked all the way. Most of the time in a restaurant it should be a trained chef making your food so they should know when it is done properly. No food is ever going to be 100% safe you always have the chance of some bacteria being there.

  10. Qiyue

    I think the people who prepare food, the processor, and the manufacturer all have responsibility to the food safety. Food can get be polluted in the whole process from the manufacturers to the consumers. For me, the government plays the most important role in food safety because the government set the food safety bar. Countries like Europe and Austria have high strict food regulation lower the risks in consuming food. In China, we have severe food safety problems since the government doest not take the problems seriously.

  11. Shane

    Personally I believe it’s consumers responsibility to make sure their foods are cooked properly so it’s safe to eat. If we decided to make these food products bacteria free, prices would rise and it would be impossible to eat these foods we desire. Not only would prices rise but if one cooks their food adequately, foods most of the time would be safe to eat.

  12. Yijun

    I think there have plenty of reason to have a foodborne disease. All of the question list in the article might happened. That means we need to always be careful before we are going to eat foods each time. Also it means the food can’t be 100% safe. Even we buy the most safety food in the world, there might have some accident happened when we store these food. That is why people have study on the food safety all the time.

  13. Nicole

    I believe it is the fault of the person cooking for not cooking the food all the way through! There are multiple ways to check if the food is properly cooked such as thermometers, those pop-up thermometer on the turkeys, and others! If the consumer doesn’t know what the temperatures are for cooking there are multiple resources for each kind of food!

  14. Lucas

    Thanksgiving has increased food born illnesses reported because of large meals being prepared and then sit out for a long time. One side of my family prepares all the food at home, and another side buys most of the food precooked from a vendor. I believe if you cook a turkey at home, the fault is leaned toward you if it is not properly cooked or prepared. Obviously, the fault would be on the vendor if you buy prepared meals. I would trust a vendor prepared thanksgiving meal because of the consistency and quality insurance that they would provide, but there are always cases of food illness from these meals that they make. It is a decision that consumers have to make.

  15. Amber

    Since the main menu in Thanksgiving is turkey, it is very possible for people to get food born illness such as salmonella because of the large demand of turkey. It can also be infected by not cooking turkey meat with an appropriate temperature and time. Therefore, it is only the good personal hygiene and cook methods can bring people a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

  16. Khalifa

    I think the person who prepares and cooks the food should be blamed because in the products they are handling, it is given in clear detail on how to make sure your food is safe and the proper temp to cook it.

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