Food safety xenophobia Italy edition

“Italians love their homegrown products, and this automatically puts them on the safe side of many (food safety) risks.”

That wasn’t some locovore, it was one of Italy’s leading experts on foodborne illness, Antonia Ricci, quoted in an interview with about the Colorado-based listeria-in-cantaloupe outbreak that has killed 29 and sickened 139.

"Beyond the data from a single country, foodborne diseases are on the rise around the world for one simple reason: globalization and industrialization of food industry."

Ricci further says that although there are periodic reports, listeria is not much of a problem in Italy because of public health checks, and, "We [Italians] still do not consume many ready-to-eat foods, especially of plant origin, nor are there many places where food is sold on the street."

Maybe something was lost in translation. Or maybe this is more evidence of food safety perceptions being repeated enough they take on their reality, in the absence of meaningful data.

Thanks to our Italian colleague for forwarding the story and helping with the translation.