Food-borne illness, Health inspectors, and Ethnic foods.

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Luong Thai Linh/EPA/Landov

According to NPR writer Angus Chen, 1 in 10 people around the world get sick from a food-borne illness every year. This was based on findings in a report published the World Health Organization.

I still hear groans from restaurant owners when the health inspector visits. I met a gentleman a few days ago who was a former restaurant owner in a resort town close by; a town I used to work in. While going through our list of acquaintances to see if we had friends in common, it turned out we both knew the health inspectors for that region.

The shocking thing was, this gentleman went on to tell me that he always found out when the health inspector was going to visit, and would close up his restaurant for that day so that he wasn’t issued a citation or fined.

When I expressed my opinion that health inspector visits were a good thing, he vehemently disagreed saying,

“Them people didn’t know any better anyways. Where I come from, they don’t even have health departments. You just set up a stall on the side of the road and sell your food.”

I guess he wasn’t willing to pay the budgeted cost of maintaining a healthy and safe establishment.

In the WHO’s report, it is noted that the most common food-borne illness reported worldwide was norovirus. This virus is highly contagious and causes inflammation of the stomach and large intestine lining. Most cases were reported in Sub-Saharan countries and Southeast Asia.

This is important information because flavors from both of those regions are predicted to trend heavily in 2016. Of course US health laws should prevent any outbreaks, but be sure to double check any products imported directly from out of the country.

Topics in this post are related to two other earlier posts. One on working with the health inspector, and the other about upcoming food trends in 2016.

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