Put on your food safety hat and consider which option you deem safer: a batch of cookies delivered by a new neighbor or commercially made cookies you purchased at the store? Both are made by strangers to me, but, whether right or wrong, I would choose the commercially made cookies.
M.J. Arlidge once said, “Trust is a fragile thing—hard to earn, easy to lose”. These words ring true when it comes to food safety. My answer to the cookie question may have been different depending on when you asked me. There was a time not so long ago when the public had little trust in manufactured foods after events like the 1900 English beer poisoning, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle spotlighting horrific standards in America’s meat industry and the Spanish toxic oil syndrome in the 1980s. Foodborne illness is still a concern today. However, the food industry, and its regulators, have made considerable improvements in the last 30 years. One of the major improvements was the investment in and adoption of standards.
Today, we have several standards organizations that operate globally to make food safer. For instance, the International Organization for Standards 22000 is a popularized standard for running a food safety management system. The Global Food Safety Initiative has benchmarked requirements that various certification program owners adopt to harmonize food safety programs. Within the US, the Conference for Food Protection is a group of industry partners, academics, and regulators that meet biannually to make recommended changes to a food code standard developed by the US Food and Drug Administration. Equally important is the non-competitive nature between food organizations when it comes to food safety practices. Organizations that rely on a global supply chain realized that a food safety issue for one is a food safety issue for all. In a media-focused society, a foodborne illness outbreak is a quick way to damage a brand and lose trust.
As a sanitation partner, Diversey is committed to adopting standards that improve food safety. We are also devoted to assisting our customers with the implementation of the standards they adopt. This year’s World Food Safety Day theme of “standards save lives” may feel hyperbolic, but it is all too true. Standards enable the delivery of safe food and water which sustain life.
So, why did I pick the commercially made cookies? The short answer is because of standards.
This content is developed in celebration of World Food Safety Day 2023. Diversey cares about food safety, implementing best sanitation practices, and food consumers like you.
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