Safe Food Project

Improving food safety is critical in the United States, where an estimated 48 million cases of foodborne disease occur annually. Food contaminated with dangerous bacteria and other pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella cause an estimated 3,000 deaths each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Foodborne illnesses are particularly dangerous for vulnerable groups, such as young children and older adults, and can lead to long term health problems or even death. Pew’s work in this area seeks to reduce health risks from foodborne pathogens by strengthening federal government authority and the enforcement of food safety laws.


Meat and Poultry Inspection 2.0

What the United States can learn from other countries

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Our Work

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  • The Persistence of Foodborne Listeria

    Listeria bacteria can be deadly, especially when young children, pregnant women, and the elderly contract infections. Recent news about the bacteria—an outbreak linked to caramel-covered apples and a study that shows their ability to survive in retail environments—underscores the public health threat posed by Listeria and the need for measures to prevent future illnesses. Read More

  • 10 Consumer and Public Health Groups Urge Congress to Fund Food Safety Overhaul

    Pew and nine other organizations concerned with public health and consumer protection are urging Congress to meet the President’s request for additional resources to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA. Read More

  • Multistate Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

    In January 2011, President Barack Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law, signaling the first major update to our nation’s food safety oversight framework since the Great Depression. Despite widespread support for the legislation and its implementation, the Obama administration still has not issued final rules under FSMA. Read More

Media Contact

Matt Mulkey

Manager, Communications