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Food Gov.

December 10, 2009

We’ve heard of Food Inc., (which I have a review of coming soon) well how about Food Gov? It turns out that the USDA has less stringent testing standards for the food sent to school lunch programs than do the private testing regimens of most fast food chains.

In the past three years, the government has provided the nation’s schools with millions of pounds of beef and chicken that wouldn’t meet the quality or safety standards of many fast-food restaurants, from Jack in the Box and other burger places to chicken chains such as KFC, a USA TODAY investigation found.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the meat it buys for the National School Lunch Program “meets or exceeds standards in commercial products.”

That isn’t always the case. McDonald’s, Burger King and Costco, for instance, are far more rigorous in checking for bacteria and dangerous pathogens. They test the ground beef they buy five to 10 times more often than the USDA tests beef made for schools during a typical production day.

And the limits Jack in the Box and other big retailers set for certain bacteria in their burgers are up to 10 times more stringent than what the USDA sets for school beef.

“We simply are not giving our kids in schools the same level of quality and safety as you get when you go to many fast-food restaurants,” says J. Glenn Morris, professor of medicine and director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida. “We are not using those same standards.”


Whole article here.

Sounds like the “fast food nation” is a bit safer than the nation’s children. So much for Eric Schlosser’s default view that more government is the best answer to combat food borne illnesses.

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From → Food Safety, Nation

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