Cookbook recalled for bad food safety advice

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is doing something exceedingly proactive: it somehow got the publisher of The Happy Baby Cookbook to initiate a voluntary recall – not of a food but of the cookbook — because it contained bad food advice for pregnant women.

Or NZFSA is following what New South Wales, Australia, did a couple of months ago for a book that has been available since Aug. 2009. Regardless, it seems extraordinary that government agencies are calling people on their food safety bullshit.

A recall is underway for a cookbook containing recipes for pregnant women made with ingredients the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) considers could be harmful in pregnancy.

NZFSA principal public health advisor Donald Campbell says while it is vital for expectant mothers to eat a nutritious and varied diet, it is important that they know which of the foods they might normally eat may require extra care or be avoided altogether during pregnancy.

“Hummus for example is packed with protein, but because most hummus is made with tahini which has been associated with Salmonella outbreaks, we recommend that pregnant women don’t eat it.”

Other foods that are unsuitable for pregnant women to eat include soft cheeses, ready-to-eat foods from delicatessens or smorgasbords, raw fish and shellfish, cold cuts, deli salads, sushi and foods containing raw eggs.

I can’t wait for my copy of The Happy Baby Cookbook to arrive. Will any other regulatory bodies take action against food safety silliness that can harm people?