Oh dear. The Ontario Home Economics Association sounds like a wonderful group, but why repeat unsubstantiated pap from groups like CanFightBac (look at their board of directors — it’s primarily commodity groups, and it’s in their interests to blame consumers for foodborne illness)?
In a press release, posted in today’s FSnet, the group states,
"Farmers’ Markets Ontario in partnership with the Association of Supervisors of Public Health Inspectors of Ontario, the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education, and local public health units recently embarked on a training and education initiative across Ontario, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Workshops and print materials reminded farmers’ market managers, producers and vendors of the best ways to prepare, handle, transport, store and display fresh produce as well as other food products available at farmers’ markets throughout the province.
"Although the consumer is the final partner in the food safety chain, he or she may have the biggest responsibility of all. Studies indicate that most food-borne illnesses are caused by careless handling, improper storage or cooking, cross-contamination and lack of hand-washing."
Tell that to those who got sick or died from spinach. Or lettuce, tomatoes, peanut butter or any meal from a restaurant.
Contamination of fresh produce must be prevented on the farm — there is very little consumers can do. Really, it’s OK to say that. Stop blaming consumers.