Did you know that Customs and Border Protection officers take less than a minute per truck to determine which products enter the United States and find their way into grocery stores and restaurants?
The volume of imported goods and the budget cuts of the people who do the inspections are greatly disproportionate. Inspectors at the border are tasked with enforcing hundreds of regulations from more than 40 government agencies.
Concerns about the nation’s food inspection system is at an all time high especially since more than 800 people have been sickened by tomato salmonella.
In fairness to Mexico, U.S. food producers were the subject of far more expansive recalls last year than foreign producers, including recalls of California spinach that tested positive for E. coli and was blamed for three deaths, and of 22 million pounds of frozen beef hamburger patties with various bacteria.
Still, Mexico is not China when it comes to U.S. recalls last year – including those of pet food that killed hundreds of animals, toothpaste tainted with diethylene glycol, a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze, and millions of Mattel toys with dangerous levels of lead in their paint.