Sloan slams lawyers again

Americans don’t get The Tragically Hip, but they seem to like the pop-oriented tunes of Nova Scotia’s Sloan when introduced – although no one down here has heard of them.

The 1996 Sloan song, Autobiography, often comes to mind when I read dribble from the blog, Defending Food Safety, written by some lawyers somewhere.

When you find you’re a conformer
Take pride and swallow whole
But if you’re trying to climb the ladder
Don’t let people walk over you
Because that’s just what they’ll do

The latest swallow had to do with an entry that begins,

“It’s no secret that virtually all foods are safe if handled properly. Indeed, according to FDA, most food-borne (sic) illnesses are avoidable if consumers follow proper food handling techniques. This is true whether consumers are shopping for products, transporting them home or preparing them in their kitchen."

I’m not sure what consumers have to do with contaminated peanut butter, pet food, pot pies, frozen pizzas, bagged spinach, carrot juice, lettuce, tomatoes, canned chili sauce, hot peppers and white pepper.

And I’m not sure where such lawyerly assertions about the source of foodborne illness come from – we’ve written a peer-reviewed article about where foodborne illness happens and argue it’s the wrong question.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time