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Acute and Chronic Conditions

February 11, 2019

When I went to the grocery store where I usually shop, a few weeks ago, the shelf of romaine lettuce was empty.  I expected this, because Health Canada had issued a warning about a possible contamination of romaine lettuce with a dangerous strain of E coli.  I bought head lettuce instead.  When eventually I went through the checkout, the bagger remarked: It’s a strange world we live in;  you can’t buy romaine lettuce but we have plenty of chocolate bars.

Yes, both E coli and chocolate are detrimental to your health, but in different ways.  The Canada Food Inspection Agency only issues recall notices for acute conditions.  These are things that cause immediate sickness, like Listeria or E coli contamination.  They don’t issue recalls for chronic conditions, like food that is high in sugar, fat, or salt.  Eating these foods over the long term will likely cause health problems too, but they must assume that most people won’t do that.

The consequences, ideally, are that all food sold in grocery stores is safe to eat.  It contains no dangerous bacteria or toxins, or other types of contamination.  Chocolate bars are also safe to eat, at least in reasonable quantities.

 

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