A really interesting piece by Erik Millstone was posted to the Guardian website on Friday, highlighting the politics surrounding the belated acknowledgement of an ongoing E.coli outbreak:
An eight-month outbreak of an uncommon type of E coli food poisoning left 250 people ill and one dead, with cases continuing to emerge until July of this year – but the public has only been told now. After six months of investigation by the Health Protection Agency, which has only just acknowledged the outbreak, the infection has ultimately been linked to people handling loose raw leeks and potatoes in their homes.
This news reveals a little bit about food-borne risks and a great deal about the politics of food safety in Britain. The Food Standards Agencywas created to provide the public with high standards of food safety and ways of setting and enforcing those standards that commanded public trust and confidence. Grounds for such trust have been seriously undermined.