Food safety broken telephone; or is someone really testing food for hepatitis A?

‘You can’t test your way to safe food.’ This saying has been attributed to many folks, including Doug. Not sure who said it first (and it really doesn’t matter). What the phrase means is that to have certainly of the safety of food, you’d have to test it all; for all the pathogens.

Not practical.

So folks correctly resort to some sort of sampling program that includes the environment and the food. And they look for indicators.

I’ve never heard of anyone screening foods, like pineapple cups, for the hepatitis A virus.

Maybe someone is. Or at least that’s what this headline from the aptly named and go-to-source for all things food safety, Big Country XX, says, ‘Hepatitis A virus found in product that was sold in Grande Prairie.’

Was it really found in it? How did the virus get there? How did someone decide to look for it? What assay was used.

BC CDC, who appears to be the original source of the info, doesn’t say much about why they think Hep a is in the fruit.

So many unanswered questions.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is an associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.