Safe Food Project

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Food contaminated with pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella causes an estimated 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. is not making enough progress in reducing these preventable diseases, and outdated federal meat and poultry inspection laws are a main reason. Pew is working to modernize the U.S. food safety system for these products so that it better reflects current risks to human health and relies on scientific and technological advancements. 

Our Work

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  • As Tests for Foodborne Illness Evolve, Disease-Tracking Systems Must Adapt

    When facing the painful, sometimes life-threatening symptoms associated with foodborne illness, patients and their doctors want to know quickly if a bacterial infection is the cause. That’s one reason health care providers are turning to new tools, called culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs), that can identify Salmonella and other dangerous bacteria in a few hours. These tests are... Read More

  • U.S. Should Improve Estimates of Illnesses Linked to Particular Foods

    In December, the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC)—a partnership that includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and U.S. Department of Agriculture—released new illness estimates for 17 food categories and four major disease-causing bacteria. The data and methods used in the study demonstrate the complexity of the task,... Read More

  • 4 Food Safety Issues to Watch in 2018

    Three days before 2018 arrived, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced they were investigating a foodborne E. coli outbreak that ultimately resulted in one death and sickened at least 25 people in 15 states. “Leafy greens” were identified as the likely source, but the Food and Drug Administration continues to work with state and local partners to... Read More

Faces of Foodborne Illness

A Collection

Personal stories from foodborne illness victims.

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Media Contact

Matt Mulkey

Manager, Communications