Thursday, December 26, 2013

Not Good Enough

The U.S. National Chicken Council ("USNCC") thinks that 99.9% safety is good enough, but it isn't.

As Blogged previously (see Oops! They Did It Again!), Consumer Reports testing of retail chicken found that virtually all of US retail chicken is contaminated with deadly pathogens.

Remember, about 25% of the chicken sold in Canada comes from the USA.  If you think the US exports only the good stuff, and keep all the contaminated chicken for the unsuspecting American consumers (or the US school lunch program), start laughing now.

USNCC says that 99.9% of US chicken servings are consumed safely every day.  The #ChickenMafia feels they should be allowed to continue producing bio-hazardous foods, because proper handling and cooking will eliminate the bacterial risks.

What do you say, Mr. & Mrs. Consumer?

Note that if consumers don't speak up, the USNCC and #ChickenMafia will win the non-argument by default.  If you don't choose to act, you've still made a choice.

If 99.9% isn't good enough, just how good do they have to be?  USDA reports that 8 Billion chickens are processed each year.  Assuming 8 servings of 1/4 pound each per typical serving size, that's 64 Billion servings of chicken per year.  If just 99.9% are safely served, that means 0.01% result in food poisoning per year, or 6.4 million cases of food poisoning per year from contaminated chicken.

In Total quality, quality excellence, Six Sigma, and similar types of modern quality management systems, they suggest the goal should be no defects that reach the consumer within the life expectancy of the food process, which might mean a 40 year period.

At 64 Billion servings per year for a total life expectancy of 40 years, that's a total of 2.56 Trillion servings of chicken.  For no food poisoning incidents in that 40 year period, the #ChickenMafia needs to operate at an AOQL (Average Outgoing Quality Level) of less than 2.56 parts per trillion.

Not even Six Sigma is good enough in this case.

The wimpy, weak-kneed, mediocrity of just 99.9% good is just 2.56 Billion times too low.

Not even close.

If you think this is way too close to perfection, you can feel free to be the lead volunteer for a suicide mission, life long disability, or severe acute illness from unprotected exposure to contaminated chicken.

One illness is one too many.

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