18 sick in E. coli outbreak ‘entirely preventable’ Food safety leaders create perceptions rather than follow; surveys still suck

Eighteen people got sick from E. coli O157:H7 in Canada in 2012 leading to the recall of 1,800 products because both the company, XL Foods, and government inspectors, sucked at safety.

The Calgary Herald reiterates this point by arguing that a large number of food inspectors are irrelevant if they’re lax in their duties. And inspectors are there mediocrityto set a minimal standard – which they failed miserably at XL Foods – while the company that makes the profit should be responsible and go far and above government standards; the best companies do.

But in this sea of mediocrity, where terribly sick people are an afterthought, leave it to the University of Guelph to proclaim that “Canadians bounced back from the 2012 beef scare relating to E. coli bacteria, and that “when dealing with such a massive recall, regulators and industry may want to expand the scope of their risk communication strategy.”

Someone paid for this?