How We Keep Our Food Safe

Food inspector tools

Food safety is a big concern of many people – as it rightfully should be. After all, we want the food we eat to be safe and free from contamination and when we hear about food packaging materials that were tampered with or the spread of food borne illnesses, it can be a frightening and nerve wracking thing. As food is something that we absolutely need to survive, it can be hugely uncomfortable to doubt whether or not the food that we eat is safe. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to ensure the safety of the food that we consume.

First, food packaging materials can help to make sure that food stays safe. Many food packaging materials have tamper evident seals, and can indicate before you even purchase it whether or not the food has been altered in any way. Pre made pouch filling machines can help to eliminate human contamination of packaged food, as the food packaging materials are filled directly with the food, cutting out much of the human contact with it. Vacuum sealed packaging can also help to keep food safe. By vacuum sealing food, we can keep it fresh up to three times as long as we would be able to otherwise. This reduces the risk of food borne illnesses, of which nearly 50 million Americans suffer from in a year, considerably. Vacuum sealing food also reduces the use of some food packaging materials such as plastic. Though plastic waste is still an issue, many food packaging materials companies are doing their best to reduce the amount of plastic that they use. For instance, a typical soft drink bottle has reduced the amount of plastic per bottle by over 30% over the past few decades and over half of the population of the United States has regular access to a plastics recycling center.

Food can also be checked for contaminants through the use of an x-ray machine. Though it may seem unusual, x-ray inspection for food is actually a great way of making sure that packaged food does not contain any foreign objects. A metal detector or an x-ray machine can detect three different types of metals within foods: ferrous, non ferrous, as well as stainless steel. This can help to remove contaminated food items before they ever reach the general public, ensuring that the food on grocery store shelves is safe both for purchase as well as consumption.

Worrying about the state of your food can certainly be a nerve wracking thing. After all, we need food to survive and without safe food we would not be able to. Doubting whether or not our food is safe for consumption is certainly frightening, but we are fortunate in that there are a number of steps that we can take in order to ensure overall food safety. First of all, we can change the way that we package food as well as the food packaging materials that we use. Vacuum sealing our food keeps the food that we eat fresher for longer, therefore reducing the risk of food borne illnesses. We can also use x-ray machines as well as metal detectors to check our food for any foreign contaminants. While it always good to be aware of the food that we put into our bodies, there is no reason to fear the food that we purchase and eat.

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Francis Pitt

Francis Pitt has made a name for himself in farm-to-table organics, working at restaurants in Portland, Seattle and Burlington, Vermont. While he has a taste for the extreme, most of his restaurant’s top sellers are much more down-to-earth, regularly featuring mushrooms gathered from the slopes of the Cascades, and fresh wild-caught seafood from the Oregon coast. Inspired by trends in Portland, his latest restaurant offers the ultimate chef’s table: dinner begins in the morning at his island collective farm, and 4 lucky guests every week get to follow the food, literally, from the field to the plate! Francis is a firm believer that you are what you eat — do you really want to be a chemistry set?