Hacked

FlavorScientist.com got hacked. I am angry, frustrated and sad about this.

The Hack

People searching the internet eager to find more information on slime scents, fruit punch or cherry flavor were maliciously sent to a website where they could purchase cheap Viagra.

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I’ve been hacked

 

WordPress plug-ins provide an option to pay $150-$300 to fix redirect hacks, but the outcome is questionable. Correspondence with these plug-in developers are one-sided. I am leery of plug-ins which provide options to pay but no in-depth details on outcome. Have they fixed this problem on other websites or are they just preying on my vulnerability and desperation?

Finally, my husband (computer guru) intervened and flavorscientist.com is now “clean”. You should not be re-directed to buy Viagra without a prescription or receive an error message. If you have problems let me know.

Flavorscientist.com lost top search engine status because of this hack. It will take time to recover, but flavorscientist will persevere.

It is time, though, to move away from cheap Viagra, e-juice and cannabis inquiries to discuss other facets of the flavor and food industry.

Food Safety

Flavorscientist.com will now include posts on food safety. A flavor chemist does not just help customers develop market products that taste good, a flavor chemist also helps customers develop safe and stable products. Acids, preservatives, adjusting water activity (sugar or salt), pasteurizing and retorting (canning) are common methods of food preservation.

However, no amount of preservation will overcome bad sanitation. Everyone working in the food industry must understand and adhere to cGMPs (current Good Manufacturing Practices). Under FSMA, the food industry is strictly regulated and is inspected to assure food and drink is produced in a sanitary manner. Otherwise, people get sick and some do not recover.

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The first time I had food poisoning, I thought it was a terrible stomach flu, but the local health inspector told me otherwise. The restaurant I had eaten at the evening before had a long history of violating food safety laws. The health inspector told me he preferred to brown bag it rather than eat out.

Now, in California, home cooks will be able to prepare meals at their homes to sell to the public. Will reports of food poisoning go up?  Should we be wary?  Should we all prepare our own food at home and pack brown bag lunches? What are the true dangers?  After-all homemade food tastes good.

Traceability

Right now, a buzz word in food is traceability. Technology is advanced enough that the possibility of quickly tracking an ingredient through the food chain is now available. This capability should eliminate sources of adulteration, provide transparency to the food supply and speed up the ability of a food producer to recall potentially harmful food product. With this new technology, will we notice changes?  Will it be safer? Will we be able to trust our food supply more? Is it something the food industry can afford or can’t afford not to have?

Flavorscientist survived the hack and as a result is feeling stronger than ever.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I read the article about the in-home cooking in California with interest, as the state of Tennessee has recently forbidden commercial production of food for sale unless it was made in a certified/licensed kitchen.

    Home cooks have no safety oversight! I feel like I’m seeing a major recall just about every week, for foods coming from factory-produced products. There are procedures in place if there’s a recall, such as, that product is pulled from distribution as soon as the problem was discovered.

    Let’s say, under the best circumstances, a home cook has taken a safety and sanitation class, and earned a certification, and does everything by the book. But in order to save money for their home-based food production business, they buy a whole bunch of ground meat from Aldi. They put the surplus in a freezer and forget about it. (I think the current beef recall would fall under this example, the beef in question is not just what’s on the shelves today, it’s been on the shelves for a while) so if the home meal producer isn’t keeping up with the current food safety issues, such as recalls and warnings like this, and they’re not constantly checking production lot numbers against the food they have in their freezers, they could still be distributing food to a large population, without knowing that it was recalled/contaminated beef.

    People might not associate their illness with the contaminated food, and think, as you did, it was just a flu… But as you know, food poisoning is a lot more dangerous , especially to children, elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.

    I am decidedly against this concept… I feel like this could only be acceptable to someone who will happily eat in a restaurant with a “C” health grade in California. I think twice about going into a restaurant with a “B”, because I don’t want to get sick.

    • Susie Bautista says:

      It’s interesting that Tennessee recently required home cooks to use a licensed kitchen. For some reason, I was under the impression that all states required food preparation for public consumption in licensed kitchen. California made changes to allow opportunity for struggling population. What’s also surprising about California bill is that gross income for MicroEnterprise Home Kitchens (MHK) is $50K. Cottage Food Laws in Washington State only allow $25K in sales. I’d want to know more about the home kitchen and cook before buying meals prepared at person’s home. Too risky for my family. As you pointed out, children are sensitive and it’s not worth exposing them to this sort of risk.

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