In 2016, a Listeria outbreak in the US sent 12 individuals to a hospital and killed one person. The outbreak was due to contaminated Dole salads. In the same year, coffee giant Starbucks recalled breakfast sandwiches because of Listeria concerns.
These events justify why regular and thorough food testing is so crucial in the food and beverage industry. Here are reasons why analysis procedures such as mycotoxin food testing are so important.
There are various ways to contaminate food
When it comes to food contamination, there are several ways on how it happens. The most common way you compromise food is when personnel touches it with unclean hands. Sneezing and coughing or not wearing protective mouth and nose masks near the areas where food is being prepared is also another.
Improper handling such as leaving the food containers open or not watching storage temperatures can also pollute the food. Lastly, unhygienic food locations can lead to nasty food contamination.
Food contamination can lead to sickness, even death
In 2015, a widespread E-Coli outbreak linked to food contamination occurred at a Chipotle restaurant in Oregon. The Oregon Public Health Divisions said they received about 100 email complaints from consumers who because sick after eating at the said restaurant.
In 2016, an E-Coli infection resulted in the death of two consumers and the contamination was allegedly due to mixed salad greens sold in supermarkets.
Contamination outbreaks lead to company nightmares and prosecution
It can lead to a public relations nightmare to be exact. The 2016 Chipotle-E-Coli scandal resulted in a lengthy PR struggle for the company. Late in 2016, the Chipotle CEO issued a statement apologising to the public about the food poisoning issue that spanned several states.
Also, in early 2016, a Listeria food contamination problem linked to ice cream company Blue Bell Creameries resulted in a criminal investigation.
Regular and efficient food testing can help companies prevent any food contamination that could lead to more than just upset stomachs. Food poisoning cases can result in statewide outbreaks, deaths, criminal prosecutions and even the loss of an entire business.