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OUR FOOD SYSTEM
After a long hard day of work you sit down in your comfortable recliner and open up your favorite snack. But when you reach into grab a piece, you pull out a dead bug. Suddenly many thoughts come into your mind, you wonder how did the bug get there and was it dead or alive. Is it harmful or carry a disease. You ask yourself did the bug come from the United States or another country and where was your snack made? As all these questions come into your head, you wonder who can give you the answers. Fortunately, the government thought about these conflicts and established several governmental agencies to protect Americans in food safety.
These agencies are responsible for inspecting, labeling, marketing, and developing modern safety systems to test foods for diseases and bacteria. They also work with the local and state governmental agencies, farmers, and companies to ensure cleaner air, safer food, and pure water to protect the health and safety of Americans. The following agencies; Center for Disease Control (CDC), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are the most significant federal agencies to help consumers make better choices in the products they buy. All of them have a particular role in food safety, and by working together they make the foods we buy safer for consumption.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a government agency that was formed in 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln. The purpose of forming the agency was to promote the rise of commercial farming. Many other Acts dealing with agriculture were drawn up over the years and eventually in 1939 the New Department of Agriculture was formed. President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed the reform of the department through because of the Great Depression was having such a great effect on the farming industry. The new Department was formed from all of the Acts and old organizations within the Department and from the exit of a few agencies out of the Department.
The United States Department of Agriculture in which we look at today has grown and evolved into a much more direct and consumer friendly government agency. The duties of the USDA is to research, regulate, and educate. The U.S. is always researching new farming techniques and different farming products that are involved in the whole process. They also regulate all farming products, to make sure that they are safe for the consumption by you and I. There are thousands of inspectors across the U.S. regulating the farms and factories in which the food is sold to.
Another duty of the USDA is to educate and inform the public of food safety. Because of the scares of improperly prepared food, the USDA must inform the public of different diseases that can be found in foods, especially meat and poultry supplies. They ensure that the food is safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged. The way in which they do so is hire thousands of inspectors and veterinarians conduct slaughterhouse inspections of all carcasses for diseases and other abnormalities. They also conduct processing inspections at plants to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness. The USDA must also look at the imported food products because of the import-export inspection system. The U.S. has one of, if not the safest food production in the world, so we must regulate everything that comes into the country.
Just recently, there was a great example of how great our government is, even with the many shortcomings. President Clinton promised great changes in the inspection
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process of the nation\'s meat and poultry. On October 7, 1997 President Clinton and Congress passed a bill calling for the increase in meat and poultry inspections and production. This was caused by the big scare this past summer, the outbreak of E coli bacteria in millions of hamburger meat, in a couple of fast-food chains. The inspection process will increase gradually over the next few years. Even though the inspection process has greatly improved, this still does not make it 100% guaranteed that there will not be small cases of outbreaks. The USDA urges you to make sure you properly cook your food, so that the chances decline.
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Food safety, Meat, Raw meat, Foodborne illness, Food, Salmonella, Cooking, Danger zone, STOP Foodborne Illness
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