Safe food

Safe Food Project



Our priorities include strengthening federal food safety regulations and policies as well as industry-led initiatives to increase use of strategies that effectively reduce contamination risks. We provide research-based recommendations and analysis to stakeholders, including the agencies that regulate food safety and investigate foodborne illness outbreaks.

Decrease Salmonella Risks in Poultry Products

Salmonella remains a major threat to Americans’ health, causing an estimated 1 million foodborne illnesses and 19,000 hospitalizations a year. Many of these infections have been linked to poultry products. The Pew Charitable Trusts is engaging producers and retailers of these foods, officials who oversee poultry safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, researchers, veterinarians, and public health experts to identify and promote the adoption of science-based approaches that reduce Salmonella risks on farms and in food production facilities.

Improve Systems to Determine and Learn from The Root Causes of Outbreaks

To reduce foodborne illnesses, businesses and government food safety agencies need to understand why and how contamination occurred and then develop strategies to prevent recurrences. But investigations that can provide these answers—called root-cause analyses or environmental assessments—are not consistently conducted for foodborne disease outbreaks. There is also limited sharing of lessons learned among food safety agencies and with the food industry. Pew is working with these and other stakeholders to develop standard protocols for root-cause analyses and to ensure that lessons learned inform efforts to improve companies’ food safety strategies and government policies.


To Reduce Salmonella Contamination in Chicken, Target the Problem on Farms

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Studies have shown that Salmonella risks can be reduced through several practices on farms and in food production facilities, including vaccines for poultry and robust microbial testing programs. However, poultry companies have room to increase adoption of these methods.


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

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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.