Food Safety / Columns

Editor's Note: PS, I hate you. The truth doesn’t always set you free

May 3, 2012
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

 

W hen I was awoken today by my alarm clock set to a local news radio station, I thought, “Today’s going to be a better day for the food industry.” One of the lead stories was hitting the mark on how most scientists agree lean finely textured beef (LFTB) is perfectly safe. The report went on to discuss how very low amounts of ammonia have been safely used in many food products for years. Great, I thought, “Each day, the real food science behind LFTB is emerging.”

When the reports questioning LFTB’s safety first gained traction a few months ago, I thought the entire affair would blow over when news networks found a juicier story to tell.

As the days and weeks of LFTB reporting dominated the news, I became disillusioned by my journalism colleagues in the general media for hyping the story and not presenting the scientific facts. Every time I read an article or heard a news report that referred to LFTB as PS, I became increasingly angry. I wanted to scream, “Call the product by the real name, not by some hyped-up false moniker.” (I refuse to put those two little words in this column, but you all know what I’m talking about.) I even started my own personal crusade to educate friends and family about LFTB by sending links to objective articles by food science leaders at major universities.

Let’s get back to this morning. By the time I reached the office a few hours later, another dubious consumer product complaint crusade was underway, this time about pet food. My hopes about it being a better day for the food industry were dashed. When I think about how much time, labor and money our industry spends on food safety, I’m astounded and grateful. Would any major processor knowingly risk it all in this age of transparency? I highly doubt it.

My advice to processors under fire has always been: Prove the food safety science behind your product, and the truth shall set you free from detractors. Today, I’d give the same advice, but I’d add a few caveats such as: maybe eventually, and sometimes too late. As the saying goes, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.”   

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Joyce Fassl, Editor-in-Chief

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

Food Engineering Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

 

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.png