Now the following will almost certainly have people saying "That's disgusting" but please, read on and THINK about what I say. I am NOT a professional food hygienist, I have worked in the food industry and I know controls and hygiene are important, and everything I say after this point is the product of my own internal logic, not research or other peoples professional opinions - please read it with THAT in mind.
I think it's about time we STOPPED paying so much attention to detail when it comes to food hygiene. I don't think it's doing us any favours in the long term - in fact, I think it's probably downright dangerous.
Cast your mind back, if you will, say, 10 years. Every now and then, couple times a year, there would be a report about an outbreak of food poisoning. This meat would be blamed, or that fish, or something, and it was a rare enough occurence that it made the news in a big way.
THEN we started to clean up. Cast your mind back, again, if you will, to more recent years. Food poisoning outbreaks were happening everywhere - kids were especially vulnerable and it was terrible, terrible, terrible. This was AFTER we cleaned up though... huh?
My theory is that, a little bacteria, a little dirt if you prefer, a little contamination in the food we consume allows the human body to build up a resistance. Did you know that the Flu Jab is (or used to be anyway) nothing more than a mild dose of the Flu? Yup - they gave you the watered down version, which most people's bodies could pretty easily fight off, in the hope that the antibodies produced by the body fighting the wussy version would stick around and fight the full blown version when it popped it's head up - and it worked too.
I believe that the reason we have seen an increase in the frequency of food poisoning is not because it happens more, it's because our bodies are no longer equipped to fight it BECAUSE we got TOO clean. Advertisment after advertisment on the TV tells us that this spray kills 99% of this, and this bleach kills all known germs dead etc. etc. which is fine in theory, but it leaves nothing for our bodies to fight off - takes away the fuel our bodies need to learn how to effectively fight off the bacteria, and leaves us vulnerable. This means that, when something dodgy DOES get through, our bodies have absolutely no bloody idea at all what the hell to do about it, and promptly shut down in protest, end result being that, 10 years ago, you'd have moaned, rubbed your stomach then gone to work a touch grumpy, now you can expect a few days in bed, and a possible trip to the hospital, or maybe even the morgue.
Hey, I could be completely wrong - so please, feel free to point out a single flaw in ANY of the logic which has lead me to these thoughts.....
No-one wants to eat in a cess-pool - no-one wants to see food 4 days old being re-heated, but there are a lot of shades of grey between the white of perfect 100% cleanliness and the black of the aforementioned scenario - maybe we should just think about a shade of grey a tiny bit darker than we have now... After all, if you live in half light it isnt as bad when it gets a little darker, but you walk from daylight into a dim room, and you can't see a bloody thing...