Make Our Food Safe

"As Europe reels from E. coli, problems with food safety in the U.S."

TIME | Bryan Walsh

"As a scary E. coli outbreak spreads across Europe, health authorities in the EU are coming to grips with the fact that the transnational body may not be ready to investigate and stop a major foodborne illness. But surely we'd do better if a similar outbreak occurred in the U.S. Right?

Maybe not. We're lucky to have the crack detectives at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), who can easily cross state boundaries in search of the source of a foodborne illness. (Europe's CDC, by contrast, is much more limited, which may complicate the E. coli investigation.) But America has struggled to control recent problems with contaminated food, including salmonella outbreaks that led the recall of half a billion eggs last year. It doesn't help that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—the chief federal body charged with keeping much of our food system safe—didn't even have the ability to order a mandatory recall of contaminated food until the passage of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) last year..."

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