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Netflix’s ‘Poisoned’ Unveils Startling Food Safety Realities

Netflix’s ‘Poisoned’ Unveils Startling Food Safety Realities. In a nation where even the perspiration of a street food vendor is perceived as a crucial ingredient, the prospect of watching the new Netflix documentary “Poisoned: The Dirty Truth About Your Food” can be an utterly distressing experience. Although it lacks any sudden shock tactics, the film stands as the most terrifying cinematic work this year.


Everything you need to know about Poisoned

The film exclusively centers on the hazards faced by consumers in the United States, a nation seemingly equipped with more stringent regulations than our own. It underscores the myriad ways in which ordinary food can lead not just to severe illness but, in some instances, even gruesome fatalities. Director Stephanie Soechtig commences the narrative in an exceedingly gut-wrenching manner; she portrays a middle-aged man reflecting tearfully on the loss of his infant child due to an E. coli outbreak linked to tainted hamburgers in the early 1990s.

This catastrophic event, known as the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak of 1992-1993, unveiled the numerous avenues through which consuming fast food could result in death. The majority of victims, predominantly children under ten years old, fell victim to this outbreak spurred by improperly cooked beef patties. The film opens with this heartrending account and consistently upholds this sense of indignation throughout its seventy-five-minute duration. A prominent figure in the film is lawyer Bill Marler, who, after securing a $15 million settlement for a client following the Jack in the Box outbreak, emerged as a leading advocate for food safety enhancements.

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image 117 Netflix's 'Poisoned' Unveils Startling Food Safety Realities

The film also introduced the first of several unexpected revelations: the most hazardous food item in current times isn’t animal-derived, but rather romaine lettuce. Even Subway’s reputation is in jeopardy. The surprises continued to unfold: spinach, melons, chicken, and even eggs pose potential dangers. In fact, the film asserts that all meats carry a certain level of bacteria, and many food regulations place the responsibility for cleanliness on the consumer. Consumed a salad that resulted in fatal consequences? The film suggests that it’s the consumer’s own fault. Advocates like Marler are striving to reshape such regulations.

Credit is due to “Poisoned” for incorporating an array of perspectives from diverse domains, including science and policy. The documentary even features whistleblowers who disclose appalling details about operations within specific chicken farms and peanut factories. Astonishingly, even peanuts pose a risk. While one can wash food items to a certain extent, it remains nearly impossible to guarantee that irrigation water employed by farmers is untainted by animal waste.

image 118 Netflix's 'Poisoned' Unveils Startling Food Safety Realities

In addition to offering statistics and historical context, the film subjects representatives from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to scrutiny. Their discomfort and rehearsed responses to pointed queries about accountability unfold on-screen.

“Poisoned” appears to have undergone more rigorous research as it strikes a balance between being alarming and sensationalist. Yet, the most profound moment arrives at the film’s conclusion, as a group of microbiologists admit to avoiding certain foods altogether. While their perspectives might be overly cautious due to their deep involvement in these matters, it’s enough to prompt a reconsideration of dietary choices.

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