Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

Costly and preventable

Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

Each year, foods contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens sicken an estimated 48 million Americans and cause between $15 billion to more than $70 billion in health-related costs. These illnesses can be significantly reduced if producers and regulators adopt prevention-based strategies to decrease the risk of contamination that can make people sick. Pew’s research and policy recommendations inform researchers, the food industry, federal food safety regulators, and the lawmakers who provide oversight and funding for food safety programs. This collection explores lessons learned from recent outbreaks, and steps that producers and federal authorities have taken—or could take—to prevent future ones.

 

Food Safety
Food Safety
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FDA, Food Industry Must Act to Improve Product Traceability

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The Food and Drug Administration and other public health agencies started working in mid-April to pinpoint where and how dangerous E. coli bacteria contaminated romaine lettuce, ultimately causing at least 210 illnesses and five deaths across 36 states.

Additional Resources

Advancing Meat and Poultry Safety
Advancing Meat and Poultry Safety
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Advancing Meat and Poultry Safety

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) oversees the safety of meat and poultry products.

Article

Improving the Safety of Produce and Processed Food

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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.