Basking in the sunshine, I started chomping down on my sandwich. A mug of French roast coffee was standing on the table next to me. The next moment brought a rude awakening. I had bit down on something hard. It turned out to be thick glass shard. I was lucky because though it was pointy, it had no dangerously sharp edges that would have instantly injured me. An inspection of the pot containing the jam for my sandwich revealed no damage. The shard had come from the contents of the jar.
The year was 1995, the location my home in Florida. I called the jam company who asked me for some production number on the jar. I later got a letter back with an apology. The letter included a coupon for a free jar of the same jam, but in all honesty, I was not in a hurry to go out and get more jam. More importantly, I also received a detailed description of how the glass shard had gotten into the jam (including the procedure aimed to prevent this). A little explanation can go a long way.
This morning, I read about a boy who had bitten down on a glass shard while eating ice cream in a local ice cream establishment. He was bleeding profusely and needed stitches. The owner of the ice cream establishment was prosecuted. The fines were substantial.
Not only had the business failed to implement simple safety standards, it had also neglected to register the business as a food business with the local authorities, among other things.
The business owner seems to have been entirely unaware of these requirements. It surprises me because I suspect that for example just about anyone in receipt of jobseekers’ allowance likely knows about the many rules surrounding anything to do with food. How so? Jobs to do with food usually require the person to have completed food hygiene training, for starters. Those jobs are often among the vacancies that end up at the Jobcentres.
While I do think that the regulations can look like overkill to anyone wanting to bake some cakes and sell them from a stall once a year, the case of this little boy who got injured highlights the reasoning behind these regulations. They help prevent such incidents.