’Good business to put the safest products on the market;’ organic association adopts language of big ag

Killing customers is bad for business.

Especially the valued repeat customer.

It’s also bad for business to make customers barf.

But, companies do it all the time, so there is a need for regulation, a legal system, and public oversight to at least embarrass so-called leaders into providing safe food.

It’s a little weird when an organic type, under questioning about safety, resorts to a big ag line (for those foodies who like to distinguish based on size and conspiracy theories).

Christine Bushway of the Organic Trade Association told the Associated Press one of the best checks on food safety is the devastating effect a recall or foodborne illness outbreak can have on a company’s bottom line.

“It’s just good business to make sure you are putting the safest products on the market,” she says.

The comments were in a story about the perceived safety of organic foods in light of repeated recalls and outbreaks –like the salmonella that sickened six in Minn. and was linked to organic eggs.

While sales for food produced on smaller operations have exploded, partially fueled by a consumer backlash to food produced by larger companies, a new set of food safety challenges has emerged. And small farm operations have been exempted from food safety laws as conservatives, farmers and food-lovers have worried about too much government intervention and regulators have struggled with tight budgets.

Bushway of the Organic Trade Association did get it right when she said food safety comes down to proper operation of a farm or food company, not its scale.

“How is the farm managed? How much effort is put into food safety? If you don’t have really good management, it doesn’t matter.”

But she misses out on an opportunity to once again stress organic is a production system with almost nothing to do with microbial food safety — the stuff that makes people barf.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, 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, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time