To hit home more closely, this week Cargill recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey after tests showed that it could be tainted with an especially dangerous strain of Salmonella, which has already been blamed in 78 illnessed and 1 death in the US.
With all the news of foodborne illnesses worldwide, it seems to me like we in the food industry are getting lazy/less stringent in our testing and tracking of food products, doesn't it? WRONG
While I am definitely a proponent of continuing to improve food safety and decrease the incidences of foodborne illnesses, I found it interesting that Foodnet, a division of the Center for Disease Control and body that tracks common foodborne infections, has seen a significant decrease in cases in the past 15 years. A report released in June estimates that since 2006 we have seen a decrease as much as 30 percent in foodborne illnesses. To put things in larger perspective, since 1996 we have seen an overall reduction of 23%.
People, those are not hollow, meaningless numbers. Those are REAL statistics that are keeping hospital beds empty and preventing loved ones from having to suffer through serious illnesses that can sometimes claim people's lives.
I think the food industry and the regulatory bodies that oversee it deserve a round of congratulations for their dedication and clear improvement in food safety. The media is great at delivering bad news to everyone, and I admit that I was surprised to see this data, which is why I decided to write a post about it. But it's also important to highlight positive achievements, and in my opinion this is definitely an accomplishment that needs to be acknowledged.
Thanks again to keeping our food supply safe, and keep striving to improve!