There’s just something about possibly putrid meat that triggers the most basic of limbic alarm bells: You may be able to cut a rotten part out of an apple and happily eat the rest, but try doing that with a steak and your brain (or your stomach) is likely to revolt. We are hyper aware to the potential for our food to make us sick, especially when it comes to meat, but the things that disgust us have very little to do with the things that are dangerous. Our brains aren’t equipped to detect the germs that are most hazardous.
In many places around the world, people gain immunity to these foodborne germs (though some get sick and die in the process). In the United States, we rely on food producers and government agents to search out pathogens. Here’s an update on how we are doing.
But there are a lot more to recalls than just meat.
A sampling of Class 1 Recalls
1. 36,000,000 pounds
Fresh and Frozen Ground Turkey Products
2. 15,475,240 pounds
3. 6,740,000 pounds
Cheesy Chicken And Rice Frozen Meals
4. 1,700,000 pounds
Ready to Eat Beef Taquitos and Chicken Quesadilla Products
5. 1,208,951 pounds
Pretzel Dog Products
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Illustrations by Amelia Bates.