Lauren Bush: A Personal Account on the Importance of Food Safety
This month LGMA Tech’s new food safety training program was kicked off with workshops in Yuma, AZ. Included as part of this new program is an emotionally-charged video produced jointly by the LGMA and STOP Foodborne Illness, an organization which represents people whose lives have been impacted by foodborne illness.
We asked Lauren Bush, a victim of foodborne illness and one of the STOP members who participated in the video, to provide some input about her experience. Her account is below. We thank Lauren very much for her assistance with this project – by sharing her story with thousands of workers in the leafy greens industry, Lauren is making a difference in the safety of all of our food.
I was so pleased when I saw the final version of the video. I watched it with my parents and we all cried reliving the experience and remembering the toll that it took on our family. Not only does the video capture Rylee and my story so well, it also does such a great job depicting the culture of food safety that LGMA strives to achieve every day. I was really proud to participate in this effort because it is part of a larger, comprehensive program; I can say firsthand that I’ve walked the fields and the processing facilities and that I’ve seen the LGMA program in action.
When I first received the invitation in 2013 to visit the LGMA and share my story, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity, but I was also pretty scared. I was worried that I would see something that didn’t seem safe or that the farmers would think I was just an angry consumer, rather than my investment in making a difference.
I realized pretty quickly during the trip that these men and women throughout the valley were moms and dads and neighbors and friends and that they ate from the fields themselves. They care deeply about their products and while they understand that mistakes were made, consumers are really important to them and they gave the other advocates and me their undivided attention.
I hope that the video leaves a lasting impression on everyone who sees it and reminds them of the true purpose behind the audits and the additional steps that have been put in place since 2006. I know that it must be a lot of extra work, but it saves lives and I’m grateful to have contributed in some way to this change.