I'm from the Government and I'm here to help

I used to think that food safety inspections were one of the few matters where state intervention in private business was justified and a consumer benefit.

I was wrong. As an example from NYC:

Pork is supposed to be cooked to 165 degrees (twenty degrees higher than the USDA guideline!) unless the customer specifically requests otherwise. I’ll save you the trouble of investigating: a 165 degree pork chop is terrible. It will be dried out and unpleasant. At home, I cook mine to 140.
I particularly hate this trend in health and safety legislators: "agency A says the limit is X, so we should require X+2 in order to appear more rigorous". X is bound to be a conservative estimate in the first place.

For reference, I've been served a surf+turf in NYC which came with a live cockroach in the deep-fried prawns, and that restaurant had presumably passed departmental inspection. They're spending all this effort trying to eliminate the long tail of risk, but failing to notice the baseline hazards that they're simply missing or unable to spot.

[Hat tip: the inimitable Amy Alkon]

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