The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Opinion

June 1, 2014

OUR VIEW: State should launch full-scale probe into thawed-meat fiasco

- — How many times did you think you had a case of the flu this past year? Did you know that many times flu-like symptoms come from food poisoning and are mistaken for the flu virus?

We ask these questions after carrying a front-page story Friday that a truck carrying thawed food was intercepted on its way to a group of Asian restaurants in the western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio areas.

The box truck was stopped by Mahoning Township (Lawrence County) police Wednesday. During an inspection, it was discovered that the refrigeration unit used to keep food frozen wasn't working.

The internal temperature of the food items was reported at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering the freezing point is 32 degrees, this food had become an obvious breeding ground for bacteria. Not only that, food was being stored improperly.

Considering this food was bound for a dozen Asian restaurants in the area - including Top's Buffet and China Wok, Hermitage, and Main Moon Buffet, Sharon - it is an alarming situation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said no citations will be issued for the food delivery company. We have to ask - why not?

Wasn't the company, New Sheng Hung Inc. out of Cleveland, at fault? Would the restaurants receiving the food have known about the possibility of spoiled meat?

What if the food had been delivered and served and several people had become ill or even worse - died?

Would it be worth charges being filed then?

There are a lot of questions to be answered and the state agencies in both Pennsylvania and Ohio need to launch a full-scale investigation for the good of the general public and the good of every restaurant's reputation.

You would have to believe that some people will avoid the restaurants where the food was being shipped, just out of fear.

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