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.

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Romaine Lettuce Contamination Reinforces Need for Agricultural Water Quality Rule

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A deadly E. coli strain that contaminated romaine lettuce in early 2018, causing five deaths and more than 200 serious infections, most likely infiltrated crops through canal water used to irrigate and apply pesticides in the Yuma, Arizona, growing region, which includes farms in southeastern California.

Additional Resources

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Faces of Foodborne Illness

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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.