Do you know if your food is safe to eat?
Remaining on the theme of buying local and fresh is a horror story that caught my attention today of a protein fuelled supermouse. The London Evening Standard reports with graphic pictures that Westminster magistrates court prosecuted Tesco, a UK leading food chain, for repeatedly violating food hygiene standards that allowed mice access to raw food that they nibbled and defecated over. The case was so serious that magistrates transferred the sentencing to the crown court to determine a heavy fine against Tesco.
One of my first jobs on leaving school was to work for Tesco. The Tesco store I worked for put profit before customer safety in the days before eggs were date stamped, by asking me to transfer out-of-date eggs from their cartons into “pick your own” eggs where the customer would be unable to tell if eggs were fresh or not. This sort of experience made me wary of the food industry, which often will if it can put profit ahead of customer health.
When you are dependent upon others for providing your food needs you are never sure if anything happened that would compromise your health during the chain of action from source to your mouth. You can significantly increase the chances you are eating good healthy food by cutting out some of the chain of action by buying local and fresh. When I pick cherries off a wild tree I know exactly where it came from, there is only one action of cherry tree to my mouth involved; but with Tesco there are dozens of actions in the chain from getting food from its source to your mouth, which is where your health could be compromised.