Food Safety

Improving food safety is critical in the United States, where an estimated 48 million cases of food-borne disease occur annually. Food contaminated with dangerous bacteria and other pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella causes 3,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

People need to have confidence in the U.S. food safety system, which should be based on prevention, scientifically sound risk assessment and management, and fail-safe data collection.

Pew seeks to reduce health threats from food-borne pathogens by strengthening federal government authority and enforcement of food safety laws.

For more information visit the Make Our Food Safe Web site.


  • Multistate Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

    Mar 13, 2014 - This infographic represents all of the multistate foodborne illness outbreaks identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since FSMA was enacted that were linked to FDA-regulated products.

  • Weaknesses in FSIS's Salmonella Regulation

    Dec 19, 2013 - The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed the events surrounding two multistate outbreaks of salmonella infections. It identified significant weaknesses in existing federal regulations and policies aimed at controlling salmonella contamination in poultry products.

  • One Step Closer: Food and Drug Administration Hearings Highlight Progress on Food Safety

    Sep 19, 2013 - In a series of public meetings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reaching out to stakeholders for their comments on the proposed FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA, rules, which were released by the agency this year.

  • Too Slow: One of Nation’s Largest Poultry Recalls Came Too Late

    Apr 02, 2013 - A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to ground turkey in 2011 sickened 136 people, causing 37 hospitalizations and one death. The Pew Charitable Trusts' analysis of the outbreak found numerous inadequacies in the foodborne illness surveillance system that, if addressed, could help to prevent illnesses and, in some cases, deaths.

  • Multistate Foodborne Outbreaks: A Timeline

    Aug 02, 2012 - In January 2011, President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law, signaling the first major update to our nation’s food safety framework since the Great Depression. This interactive graphic represents the ten most widespread multistate foodborne illness outbreaks linked to FDA-regulated products since FSMA was enacted.

  • Graphic: A Look Into Multistate Foodborne Outbreaks

    Jul 17, 2012 - Although the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law in January 2011, major portions have yet to be implemented. This interactive graphic represents the ten most widespread multistate foodborne illness outbreaks linked to FDA-regulated products since FSMA was enacted, which constitute a small fraction of total foodborne illnesses reported during that period.

  • New Law Takes a Big Bite Out of the Problem, but Leaves Much on the Plate

    Dec 21, 2011 - Erik Olson, director of food programs at Pew Health Group, explores the significant gaps that remain in our nation’s food safety infrastructure after passage of the new 2011 food safety law.

  • Focus On: Food Import Safety

    Oct 19, 2011 - In this issue brief, the Pew Health Group and the Center for Science in the Public Interest address the safety of imported seafood and raw produce. This is a particularly important  challenge in light of the exponential growth of food imports, which requires that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the resources it needed  to better ensure the safety of food that comes from outside the nation’s borders.

  • Graphic: The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

    Mar 08, 2011 - President Barack Obama signed the "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act" into law on January 4, 2011. This interactive graphic explains the key benefits from the law that consumers should expect to see in five important areas.  

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