Published 4:02 am Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Use common sense with latest recalls
Botulism. E. coli. Tainted pet food. In recent months and weeks, it seems as if there have been few food items - for humans or pets - that have not been touched by some kind of recall.
But while taking precautions and avoiding recalled foods are essential practices to staying healthy, panicking about everything you put in your mouth or on the dinner table is not a good idea, either.
Just about every week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issues an alert or warning or recall for some kind of food. Most are related to undeclared dairy or nut ingredients in certain foods, since those allergic reactions in those people susceptible to them can be very dangerous.
But we're not exactly back in the days of Upton Sinclair. A little common sense and research - especially if you are prone to food allergies - goes a long way. Wash all of your produce carefully. Read the labels. Look up various recalls on the FDA's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html.
Still, we hope that the FDA is taking the food threats seriously, especially those related to food imported from other countries. We have no way of inspecting those plants or farms, so taking precautions to prepare those foods is a good idea.
The latest recall - of various chili products under different brand names from a plant in Georgia - involves foods that have already been taken off the shelves in Brewton grocery stores. But make sure to check your pantry for the brand names and types of canned food.
Just don't panic. Food-related illnesses are common but rarely serious. Take precautions, and use common sense.