In a national survey, fewer than half of the participants realized meat contaminated with fecal food-poisoning bacteria such as Salmonella can still legally be sold. Rather than producing safe products, the meat industry shifts the responsibility for safety onto the consumer.
Image thanks to sahlgoode.
Most of the U.S. population suffers an acute diarrheal illness every year, and according to a recent survey most people correctly identified food as the most common source—but , fewer than half, 45%, believed it's legal for grocery stores to sell meat with food poisonging bacteria on it. You can’t sell unsafe cars, you can’t sell unsafe toys, how could they possibly sell unsafe meat.
They do it by blaming the consumer. As USDA poultry microbiologist Nelson Cox said: “Raw meats are not idiot-proof. They can be mishandled and when they are, it’s like handling a hand grenade. If you pull the pin, somebody’s going to get hurt.” See if we get sick, it’s our fault.
While some may question the wisdom of selling hand grenades in the supermarket, Cox disagrees: “I think the consumer has the most responsibility but refuses to accept it.” That’s like a car company saying yeah, we installed faulty brakes, but it’s your fault for not putting your kid in a seatbelt.
Patricia Griffin, director of Epidemiological Research at the Centers for Disease Control responded famously to this kind of blame-the-victim attitude. “Is it reasonable,” she asked, ‘“that if a consumer undercooks a hamburger…their three-year-old dies?”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena
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Industry experts, in fact, admit it's too expensive for the industry not to sell contaminated chicken—see Fecal Bacteria Survey. For questionable steps the meat industry is taking to mediate the threat see Viral Meat Spray and Maggot Meat Spray. The risks of handling fresh meat are discussed in Food Poisoning Bacteria Cross-Contamination. There are 25 other videos on food poisoning and hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects if you'd like to check them out.
Please be sure to check out my associated blog posts for more context: Why is it Legal to Sell Unsafe Meat?, Is Coconut Oil Bad For You?, Which Pets Improve Children's Health?, and Why Is Selling Salmonella-Tainted Chicken Legal?