Due to an unexpected sudden thaw this winter in Canada, I was faced with a deluge of water from my roof. Unfortunately I had not properly secured the down pipe to the eaves during the summer, and consequently water was pouring onto my driveway instead of being safely carried away into my neighbor’s garden.

Given the potential this water could pool and eventually find its way into my basement, I decided I had to take action and suffer the elements to do a quick fix.

I completed the operation in record time by loosely attaching the down spout to the eaves and securing it by leaning my garbage can against it. Just as I was about to return to my beer and the football game, I heard a voice from over the fence – “Hey, if you’re going to fix that, fix it right.” It was the voice of my neighbor Jack, a retired sales exec from DuPont and an ex-CFL quarterback (sorry, I forgot this is a U.S. magazine. CFL stands for Canadian Football League – you know the bush league of the north).

As always, Jack came over with the right ladder and, more importantly, the right tools and skillfully fastened my down spout into the eaves trough with unquestionable permanence.

You see, Jack comes from that generation where you fixed it right the first time.

This past week I had the fortune of hearing Elizabeth Hagen, the USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, speak at our NAMP conference. She spoke of a food safety strategy focusing on prevention not testing. Ah yes, prevention. Identifying hazards and putting in place process interventions to reduce or eliminate those hazards and testing to validate those process interventions.

I often think if we as an industry could only agree on what is broken that we, like Jack, would sleep only when we knew it was fixed right.

Then… what safe food we would have.