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  • Alex Bond

From Panic to Promise: Elevating Food Safety Standards After 'Poisoned'

The Netflix documentary "Poisoned: The Dirty Truth About Your Food" based on Jeff Benedict’s book, has left audiences questioning the safety of their food. Some of the revelations around hygiene standards and cleanliness procedures have drawn attention to the pressing need for innovation in food safety. At FreshCheck, we believe that the challenges spotlighted in this documentary can be met with cutting-edge solutions that protect public health while supporting the food industry.

Food Safety

Testing Evolution

Mansour Samadpour is the President and CEO of IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group, who features prominently in the documentary, underscores the need for accurate testing. In particular, emphasising the value of separate Salmonella tests for packaged chicken. The documentary suggests that there's an increasing focus on modernising safety protocols, an objective that aligns seamlessly with FreshCheck’s mission.

The Dirty Truth about Food Safety

One of the scenes in 'Poisoned' reveals a concerning result of 770 when an ATP test is conducted on eggs using a well-known testing device. The auditors in the film dismiss the number as acceptable, but from a food safety perspective, this level poses considerable risks. The ATP reading of 770 is significantly elevated for eggs, raising food safety concerns.

Invisibility Is Not Ignorance

Marion Nestle, the author of 'Safe Food,' makes a compelling point in the documentary: "What they're expected to do has nothing to do with bacteria. You can't see bacteria. They're not visible to the naked eye." It's a sentiment that emphasises the invisible risk that bacteria pose, but it doesn't have to be an unsolvable problem.

FreshCheck: The Science of Seeing

At FreshCheck, we tackle the invisibility issue head-on. Our hygiene testing kits deliver visually clear results that unequivocally indicate whether a surface is truly clean or if further cleaning and re-testing is required. With our hygiene verification system, users can eliminate the guesswork and significantly reduce the risk associated with surface cleanliness, providing peace of mind.

Enhancing Auditor Capabilities

Alex Bond, co-founder of FreshCheck, pointed out that the documentary highlights "the difficulty of trusting results, which can be easily doctored. FreshCheck’s auditor profile makes it easier for auditors to see data and confirm that reports are accurate and unadulterated". FreshCheck's real-time reporting capabilities make it easier for auditors to verify the cleanliness of food processing environments without the risk of manipulated outcomes. With the implementation of our digital solutions, auditing becomes more reliable and transparent.

The Shift Towards Modernity

As the documentary reveals, about 50% of U.S. poultry is no longer fed prophylactic antibiotics—a notable shift. It's a sign that the industry is beginning to accept more sustainable and effective methods for ensuring food safety. FreshCheck aims to be part of this transformative journey, providing the food industry with more accurate, quicker, and easily understandable test results.

From Panic to Promise

While "Poisoned" serves as a wake-up call, it also presents an opportunity. It showcases the urgent need for more reliable and modern approaches to food safety, which is precisely what FreshCheck offers. Our solutions enable food producers, auditors, and consumers alike to be more confident in the safety of our food supply chain.

By leveraging science and technology, we can transform panic into promise, making the food we eat safer for everyone. The future of food safety is not just about pointing out problems; it's about providing solutions. And in that space, FreshCheck is leading the way.


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