Improving the Safety of Produce and Processed Food

Improving the Safety of Produce and Processed Food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversees about 80 percent of the nation’s food supply,  including fruits, vegetables, dairy, and many processed foods, regardless of whether they were produced domestically or imported. A series of deadly foodborne illness outbreaks linked to FDA-regulated products prompted the enactment of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011. This landmark law shifted the agency’s focus from reacting to such outbreaks to working to prevent the contamination that causes them.

The resources below are part of Pew’s work to ensure that the FDA issues well-designed regulations to implement FSMA, and that Congress provides the agency with the necessary funding to build an effective food safety system for the 21st century.

Young spinach
Young spinach
Article

In-Depth Investigations of Foodborne Outbreaks Can Help Prevent New Ones

Quick View
Article

For those who produce our food and oversee its safety, understanding how and why a foodborne disease outbreak occurred is a vital step in avoiding future ones and reducing the estimated 48 million illnesses caused each year by Salmonella, E. coli, and other microorganisms. The Pew Charitable Trusts is working with federal food safety officials, representatives of food companies, and other experts to develop best practices for root cause analyses, a powerful but underused method to learn from past failures.

Additional Resources

19x9 placeholder
nc illness
Article

Faces of Foodborne Illness

Quick View
Article

Faces of Foodborne Illness

Foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria infect millions of Americans each year, causing lasting health problems for many.