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.
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.
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.