Is your food safe?
Is your food safe?
  • Kim Min-a, Reporter
  • 승인 2009.05.12 16:38
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Do you know what day May 14th is? We usually know the day as Rose Day when couples give flower bouquets to each other with a sweet kiss. But that day is also a day of food safety. The Korea Food & Drug Administration made May 14th the day of food inspection. It made programs about food inspection and promoted them. The purpose of the day is to make people become interested in food safety before the summer. This day is considered to be crucial because people usually eat out these days.
When watching TV, we often see stories about unsanitary conditions. Recently, Chinese food sanitation broadcasts on TV have caused a lot of controversy. A program called “Consumer Report”(소비자고발) covered Chinese restaurants’ kitchens. It was very shocking because Chinese restaurants are popular places to common people.
The unsanitary conditions of Chinese restaurants were very serious. Most kitchens of Chi
nese restaurants are separated from the dining hall. Also, Chinese food is usually delivered. So, customers cannot know how Chinese food is cooked and what ingredients are used. The program showed the cook making dishes while smoking. Also, he didn’t wash his hands despite going to the bathroom and served food continuously. Besides this, he used a dish towel like a rag. The cook even made jajjangmyeon sauce with dirty oil.
“Because the color of Jajangmyeon sauce is black, any oil is okay,” said the chef. “People do not know whether oil is clean or not.”
The conditions are really shocking, even if many people actually hardly expect these foods to be clean.
The problems of sanitation are not limited to Chinese food restaurants. Most restaurants’ sanitation conditions are serious as well. The KFDA inspected restaurants of the nation from February 9 to March 6. The results of the survey were that 53.2 percent of all businesses exposed didn’t maintain clean sanitary conditions. Also, cooks in 18.4 percent of restaurants made food without wearing a disinfected coat, and 3.6 percent of them have used ingredients that have passed the expiration date.
Children also are threatened by food. Low-quality foods (jawbreakers, dried filefish fillets, etc.) are threatening their health nowadays. Because children don’t have a lot of money, the low price of low-quality food is more attractive to them. Low-quality food is well-suited to children’s tastes. However, this food includes lots of artificial coloring and chemical compounds, so children who eat a lot of low-quality food often complain of stomachaches after eating it. Actually, stationery stores in front of schools were selling food past the expiration date. Also, the owners put low-quality food by the roadside in order to attract children’s attention, but the contents can spoil easily in direct rays of the sun.
The price of low-quality food is low due to the cheap basic materials. The most remarkable thing about them is food coloring. Most artificial coloring used is tar. It is made of toluene, naphthalene, benzene extracted from coal tar, and so on. Tar color was originally developed for dyeing clothes. Because it contains poisonous substances, most nations keep people from eating it. When KFDA inspected the contents of low-quality foods, however, lots of tar color was detected. Eating excessive tar color can stunt the process of digestion and cause liver or stomach disorders.
Like other food, street food is not safe. KHIDI (Korea Health Industry Development Institute) investigated the sani
tation of street food last year. According to the results of the survey, germs were found in much of the food and water. Germs were detected by 10,000,000 at maximum in fish cake, ddeokbokki and fried food. Over 10,000,000 germs were found in raw food such as kimbap and fruit juice. Those germs are not all disease germs, but it is a very serious example in terms of judging sanitation.
Not long ago, melamine was found in various cookies and in coffee. So many people were shocked. But the voice of distrust about what we eat is spreading widely again. Issac Asimov, who majored in biochemistry in Russia, defined the first law of dietetics as follows: “If it tastes good, it is bad for you.” It means food which is bad for you tempts you with good taste.
Shin Jae-hoon, a sophomore in the department of Polymer Nano Science and Technology, said, “The owners of a cookie factory never give cookies to their children, because they know how dirty sanitation conditions of the factory are.”
Citizens say people who make food should consider about the food’s sanitation conditions. If you think your family eats dishes cooked by you, you’d never make dishes like that.

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