The Movie “Contagion” Can Teach Prevention of Food Borne Illness

You should see the movie!

It is a chilling reminder of how rapidly infectious diseases can spread and the devastation that can occur.

The story is about a virus that spreads across the world killing billions. Food borne epidemics are occurring all the time. Over the last decade, there have been nearly 1000 food borne illness outbreaks in the USA every year. Two thirds of the time we don’t even know what caused the epidemic.

Graph Outbreaks

Usually there is a single source. Poor hygiene spreads the infectious agent.  Without spilling the bottom line, “Contagion” highlights these critical facts.

Two major issues contribute to any kind of disease epidemic:

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Challenges of Health Department Inspections: Declining Dollars

Budget cuts can threaten public safety.

Federal and state governments continually face budget challenges. Often, they choose to cut services when there doesn’t really seem to be a problem. The logic likely is, why spend money on restaurant inspections when there hasn’t been any major food borne epidemic in months or longer? It is this type of flawed logic that can lead to a disaster.

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