Why would they treat this problem any differently?

The Bush Administration has fairly well managed to ignore or mismanage nearly every problem that has arisen on its watch. I know that sounds fairly strong, but I’ll wait for a while for you to come up with something that they dealt with in timely and efficient manner.

Nope, I can’t think of one either.

Well, now they’re meeting the food-safety issue with that same dazzling efficacy. The FDA issued its “Final Guidance for Safe Production of Fresh-Cut Fruits and Vegetables” today. It’s a totally voluntary, non-binding resolution that says that fruit and vegetable processors should adopt food safety plans similar to those in the meat industry. There are no mandatory rules, no role for inspections, no punishments for violations and really, nothing other than recommendations of common-sense issues that the industry is already aware of. Some of the choice excerpts:

“FDA recommends that supervisors be trained to recognize the symptoms of active infectious disease; these symptoms are vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. We recommend that employees with these symptoms be excluded from any operations which may be expected to result in contamination of fresh or fresh-cut produce or food contact surfaces, including equipment and utensils, until the medical condition is resolved.

“We recommend that firms maintain an adequate supply of bandages that provide protection from any wound. A wound containing pus (such as an open and draining boil or other infected wound) that is located on a part of the body that could contact fresh produce or fresh-cut produce, processing equipment, or tools, presents a risk of contaminating fresh-cut produce.”