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‘Organic’ Label Doesn’t Mean Safer Produce

Organic farms are not immune to food-borne bacteria. Small farms are often exempt from FDA oversight -- so what other options do they have?


Photo: Madelinetosh (Flickr)

Salmonella was found recently in Minnesota organic eggs. However small the outbreak, organic food can also become contaminated.

Organic farms are not exempt from food-borne bacteria.

Hot on the heels of a recent devastating listeria outbreak on cantaloupe, food officials are warning organic foods are not necessarily less likely to be contaminated.

Small farms are less likely to have FDA oversight due to a food safety law that was passed by President Barack Obama earlier this year. Larger factory farms reach more people, so that’s where the government focuses its attention.

Large and small organic producers argue that government oversight isn’t necessary for safer foods — the responsibility lies in the farm’s policies and management.

Local producers do have the advantage of less distance to transport food, and consumers can easily trace their produce.

However proper cooking and handling of any foods — organic or otherwise — will minimize the consumer’s risk of contracting food-borne illnesses.

Read More:

  • Local, organic, natural foods not always safer as many small farms are exempt from laws (Washington Post)
  • Organic Foods Not Always Safer (ThirdAge)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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    All food was once living organic matter, and part of the natural ecosystem. Just because it’s organic does not mean safer, only that the product has been raised in the proper fashion.

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