Food manufacturers in the state of Georgia are now changing their inspection process to focus on areas of high-risk. Previously, all foods and food products were given equal treatment when it came to inspections. Now, however, the state’s new initiative will place greater focus on certain foods that are labeled as “high-risk.” This means if a food or product is notorious for harboring and spreading illness-causing bacteria, the manufacturer will be forced to deal with a greater amount of inspections. Of course this is a small price to pay for the safety of residents not only in Georgia, but throughout the rest of the country as well. Is this a smart move by the southeastern state? Keep reading and we’ll take a closer look at what this new change in the inspection process means for the rest of us.
The main goal of Georgia’s new inspection process should be obvious – it’s to prevent the spreading of bacteria and germs that cause food-borne illness. As you may already know, food-borne illness is a serious problem throughout the country affecting nearly 1 out of 4 individuals each year. While this number may seem high, Canada’s rate of food-borne illness is actually higher with roughly 1 out of 3 people catching some form of illness from food. In addition, Canada is going through one of their largest food recalls with over 1,500 products recalled from the Alberta-based XL Foods plant. The products are believed to be carrying E. coli, and the health officials have responded by shutting the plant down until further notice.
Georgia hopes to prevent a similar situation from occurring by making some adjustments to their food inspection process. Instead of spending the time, energy and money inspecting food products that have little-to-no chance of harboring food-borne illnesses, they can focus on products of greater concern. Beef, pork and chicken are obviously the products most likely to carry food-borne illness; therefore, inspectors will place the most amount of time on these products.
It’s hard to say whether or not this new system will actually prevent or reduce the amount of food-borne illness cases, but most analysts say it’s a step in the right direction. After all, too many states spread their resources out on inspecting unnecessary items, which allows the more problematic food products to slip through. This should allow for better use of food inspection resources, resulting in the reduction of food-borne illness.