Stories in food safety matter. Folks aren’t compelled by the fancy facts and figures that all of us nerds have access to. It’s too easy to forget that food safety is about people that get sick. When I get bogged down by the churn of the academic system and all the rhetoric around policy, stories like that of Serena Faith Profitt clarify things for me.
A week after the nearly unbearable death of her granddaughter, Laurie Whitaker wiped at an eye and laughed while recalling the tow-headed 4-year-old who called her “Nana.”
“She was very, very smart,” reflected Whitaker, swept into an unsolved mystery that resulted in the death of Serena Faith Profitt from E. coli poisoning. “She knew her alphabet at two-and-a-half, and could count to 50 by the time she was four. She had an ear for music — not kids’ nursery rhymes, but real music. And she loved twirly dresses and sparkly shoes, which is all she ever wore.”
On Monday, Whitaker buried her own grief and hit the bricks to organize a funeral service for Serena that is likely to stretch the resources of the tight-knit clan over which she dotes
Stuff like this makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. It makes me think about my kids; the kids in my family; and, all the folks I know with youngsters.
And reminds me of why I do what I do.