First edition of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle: From Wikipedia

As a teacher of literature, I love it when students write about current events and relate them back to the works of literature that we read. So when I read about the twentieth anniversary of the E. Coli outbreak at Jack in the Box restaurants, I knew there was a germ of an idea there that could lead to a great essay relating to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.

I will leave the fleshing out to you, but you could definitely run with it by looking at the following websites:

As the first link there says,

The ensuing public pressure led to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Acts of 1906, the foundations for today’s food safety laws. The Meat Inspection Act brought federal inspectors and basic sanitary practices to the meat industry. It brought on the “poke and sniff” era, where men who, for the most part, knew meat [and] were there to keep it clean and safe.

It doesn’t have to be about this particular E. Coli outbreak, but the idea is to relate the two events. For example, one essay could explain how the two events (The Jungle and the E. Coli outbreak) both led to changes in the industry. To new regulations. Or it could show where the two failed to make the most significant changes. Or how the changes enacted after The Jungle were not enough to prevent the Jack in the Box outbreak.

If you still need more about Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle or need a good, quick study guide, check out our Cheat Sheet here.