Here’s a little tip that will make you feel like a public-health insider. The next time you read any news related to foodborne illness in the United States, look for this word:
The chances are good that you’ll find it, probably buried deep in the footnotes. That’s not because Minnesota has particularly unhealthy food. (Disregard those 47 things on a stick served at the State Fair.) Instead, it’s because Minnesota has excellent food detectives.
Largely thanks to its Scandinavian sense of social responsibility — Minneapolis is still Scandinavian enough that the cashiers in my downtown grocery store spoke Swedish to the older customers — Minnesota has always been willing to support a crack state department of public health.
E. coli in hazelnuts packaged in California? Salmonella-bearing red pepper in salami made in Rhode Island? More Salmonella in peanut butter from Georgia? Even more Salmonella in peppers from Mexico? Anthrax from downed cattle? Crypto from chicken salad? Solved by MNDoH, every one.