The flawed-but-legal “standards”
In 2008, a food safety problem swept Canada : Ready-to-eat meat products from Maple Leaf were found to be contaminated by a virulent strain of listeria with an unusual high rate, leading to s oaring death reports. It was s aid that two thirds of Maple Leaf meat samples collected from Toronto hospitals and nursing homes tested positive for the pathogen (Cribb, 2008). The underlying ethical issues behind the whole thing a roused controvers ies broadly. Maple Leaf, the active agent in this case, used an “industry standard” to test the possible contamination of their products – They tested the food-contact surface rather than the food its elf in routine examine; even when an environmental contamination was found, they still won’t test the food until a s econd straight environmental positive appears . Worse is that the food products keep going out of the factory while the test is taking place (Friscolanti, 2008). So here comes the ethica l issue: Should Maple Leaf use the “industry standard” which is known to be problematic?
The decisions the active agents made influenced the broad innocent passive agents – the consumers who bought the contaminated products. I would then ex amine these decisions by analyzing them through two ethical models: Consequentialism and Rawlsian Liberalism. In Consequentialism model, the agents would consider only the consequences of their actions. What would be the consequences if Maple Leaf adopts a s afer “standard” to test potential food contamination?
For the bright side, though the risk of using “industry standard” is actually very low - it’s not zero. By using “safer standards”, Maple Leaf would be less possible being involved into food s afety related crisis. Plus, when the consumers know Maple Leaf is more guaranteed on food s afety, they would grow confidence and buy more products from Maple Leaf – an upward push to increase the company’s revenue.
For the negative side of using better...
Bibliography: Cribb, Robert. 2008. Emails a window on listeria outbreak. The Toronto Star. 2 008, p. 1.
Cribb, Robert . 2008. Listeria found in nursing homes, hospitals. The Toronto Star. 2 008, pp. 1 -2.
Friscolanti, Michael. 2008. How safe is your food? Maclean 's. 2 008, pp. 33 -35.
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