The recent news of food poisoning in Japan reminds us once again about food safety for travelers which is a topic not just close to the heart of people traveling with medical concerns but everyone traveling. In this case a few thousand people have become ill by eating packaged foods that contain an insecticide called malathion. The first report of this problem came from a person in Japan who reported that their frozen pizza smelled like machine oil. That’s not good. Take note…smell your food even if it’s frozen.
A similar scandal occurred a few years ago in China with baby formula, milk and eggs being tainted with melamine. Melamine is used in the industrial production of plastic. This situation brought to light all kinds of food supply issues, political corruption and profit motives that disregard human health.
We all know that food is not localized any longer. Food and food ingredients travel great distances in the supply chain from farm to processor to store – often involving suppliers from multiple countries. So it’s becoming more and more difficult to know where your snack or plate of food actually comes from and what quality standards are being enforced for that food. This is an issue for all of us but especially acute for those with existing health problems that may be triggered by eating.