Make Our Food Safe
01/24/2012

Editorial: Food safety auditors too tied to industry

USA Today |

The first hints of trouble came last Sept. 2. Trackers who watch for outbreaks of dangerous diseases noticed that seven people in Colorado had come down with listeriosis, a potentially fatal food-borne illness. Within two weeks, federal authorities had tracked the culprit — contaminated cantaloupe — to Jensen Farms, a small Colorado grower.

Contaminated cantaloupe at Jensen Farms, a small Colorado grower, triggered an outbreak last fall that killed 30 people.

By November, people in 28 states had fallen ill. By the time federal authorities declared the outbreak over in December, 146 people had been stricken, including a woman who had a miscarriage, and 30 were dead.

You'd think that the deadliest food-borne outbreak in nearly 90 years would change the way business is done in the produce industry. No such luck.

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