Jeff Koeze's Blog Good Food, Good Business, and the Good Food Business

16Feb/090

Two Meanings of Safe Food

Surfing around the internet, I see several links to lists of "safe" peanut products.  And we've seen food companies rush to label their peanut butter as "safe."  But I think there are two different meanings to that word.

One meaning is 100% guaranteed, no risk whatsoever "safe."

The other meaning I'll illustrate with a little story.  Imagine that you are going to hire somebody to drive your elderly parents and their grandchildren -- your children -- to Florida.  You want a safe driver.  You find a friend who is willing.  You have ridden in the car with this friend many times.  She has always driven very cautiously.  Your friend has never had a ticket.  Your friend has a very safe car which is well-maintained.  Your friend doesn't drink.  Your friend is unaware of any medical conditions that could cause trouble while driving.  Anyway, you get the idea -- your friend is a "safe" driver.

So you ask your friend -- Will you guarantee me 100% that you won't get in an accident on the drive to Florida?  Of course, the answer to that question is no.

I think most of our food meets the "safe driver" definition of safe. (Not enough, but the overwhelming majority.)

I don't think any of our food meets the 100% no risk definition.  Never has.  Never will.

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