Leary of the deli case...cross contamination? [General]

2008 Aug 26
Never really a drama queen about these things, but I can't help but wonder, and google has been no help.

What about the Maple Leaf products that made it into deli cases? I know it got thrown out, I saw whole bolognas in the bin on TV, but did they have to empty it of ALL products?

What happened to the stuff from other suppliers that might have been in there beside it? And if Maple Leaf has to shut down and throw in a nuclear bomb to kill it all, then how do I trust that the 15 year old working the counter has done the job right?

2008 Aug 26
Simple - don't eat there.

Even before this scare, there were many others involving both meat and veggies. If you are really concerned about this sort of thing, prepare all your own meals and know where all the ingredients come from.

Best argument ever for knowing your farmer on a personal level

2008 Aug 26
Agreed, zy.

I do make everything myself. I was thinking of sliced deli cold cuts. I usually pick up a few slices of ham for scrambles or sammies. I just wondered if whole cases of cold cuts had been cleared and sanitized down (right to the slicer?!).

2008 Aug 26
Olivers Rock - Like you I thought about this too. And I agree I don't think I want to trust some teen to do the job... I think when I go back (and that could be awhile) it will be to my regular spot at Farm Boy. At least they have adult staff, and being locally run, I think Management is acutely aware of their market share up against the BIG GUYS, and won't do anything to jeopardize that.

2008 Aug 26
The Maple Leaf issue underscores, to me, the inevitable problem with centralized ready-to-eat food processing. Which is why, as a consumer who buys/prepares food for his family, I purchase, say, ground beef only from a neighbourhood butcher who I know and trust. His hamburger comes from one or two cows, not a mix of 100-plus carcasses thrown together in an enormous vat in Toronto or Montreal or wherever.
Personally, I cringe when I see people buying plastic tubes of ground beef on sale at a big supermarket -- you have no idea what's in there.
Omnivore's Ottawa

2008 Aug 26
What Ron said.

2008 Aug 26
Oh Ron, Those ground beef tubes are down right scary.

Speaking of "centralized ready-to-eat food processing" ......

What's next ? People buying pre-cooked roast beef that's 'ready' in 10 minutes ?

Doesn't it seem strange that people will go to work all day to earn the money to buy the expensive 'ready in 10 minutes' roast beef ?

The again, they may need the food to be conveniently quick because they've spent two hours (or 1/8th) of their waking day puttering along the Queensway, going to and from their work.

.... and they call this 'progress' ?

Oh well .... Sometimes I just shake my head.

2008 Aug 26
What, you don't like soylent green?! ;)

2008 Aug 27
In this article ( www.theglobeandmail.com ) about the Maple Leaf and food inspections, they also talk about cross contamination at deli counters... "'We've shown it(bacteria) gets transferred to the next 100 slices or more. About 90 per cent of the transfer occurred in the first 10 slices,' said Dr. Ryser, who has written an 800-page book about Listeria monocytogenes" And this doesn't even address how they often preslice the meat into big bins...

2008 Aug 27

For any foodies who are also bookworms, might I suggest The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Food:

"Pollan has divided "The Omnivore's Dilemma" into three parts, one for each of the food chains that sustain us: industrialized food, alternative or "organic" food, and food people obtain by dint of their own hunting, gathering, or gardening. Pollan follows each food chain literally from the ground up to the table, emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the species we depend on".

This is my weekend read on the way down to London, and I have to say, as a Foodie-Reader, I am very much excited, but at the same time perhaps nervous, to read this.

2008 Aug 27
Pete - Re: Cross Contamination - That article was hair-raising to say the least. It looks like I for one won't be buying anything from a deli counter anytime soon!

Re: Food Inspection - That is indeed a sad reality of how sometimes in the name of cost savings the responsibility has been offset to the manufacturer themselves. And without an atmosphere that promotes the reasons behind food safety, (let alone the training that a Food Inspector would have vs. an Employee) it is very likely that an employee assigned the duty, will "fudge" things on occasion so the "Inspection" (which in this case is really an audit of paperwork) finds nothing amiss.

Have we not learned anything from the Waterton Water Incident?