I don't know how many people noticed the news story about the arrest of two farmers who have been blamed for the Listeria outbreak that killed 33 people last year.
If you did read it I'm sure you applauded the efforts of the government inspectors who traced down the culprits.
If you read the first news releases you of course did not get the complete story. You won't get the complete story because who, what, when, why, and how, are no longer taught the press release driven world of Journalism.
After a week or so we get tidbits of facts and can piece together what likely happened...
Here is a quote from the brave inspector who assigned blame...
Click on it to go to the article.
The FDA said one piece of equipment, a used potato washing machine
bought just before the outbreak, was its possible cause and cited dirty
water on the floor of the packing center as well.
on both the washing and drying equipment appeared to be un-cleanable,
and dirt and product buildup was visible on some areas of the
equipment," according to the FDA report.
The way the cantaloupes were cooled after being picked may have exacerbated the listeria growth, the FDA said. Another possible source of contamination was a truck that frequently hauled cantaloupe to a cattle operation and was parked near the packing house.
You do realize what this quote means don't you? They don't have a clue how the actual contamination occurred or at what part of the picking, packing, shipping, or sales process, this all happened.
The only thing they could imagine was that the potato washing machine was dirty. Or get this, a truck that frequently hauled cantaloupe to a cattle operation was parked outside? Really? Or puddles of dirty water on the floor?
But yet they handcuffed and shackled these two farmers who are out of business anyway and who seem to feel terrible about the whole thing. No intent, no real criminal negligence, but they are making an example of them.
And...what makes you think it couldn't happen to you?
I could also write about the blueberry growers in OR who were extorted out of thousands over child labor violations. In one article I read that migrants were asked why they liked to work in Oregon and they replied that they could bring their children to work with them. The gubment official was scandalized by this response.
I suspect that the children of migrant laborers are anxious to work so that they can make money to be upwardly mobile in society.
But, I'm getting of subject.
Perhaps I will go take some pictures of corn...
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