Cargill ground beef recall after E. coli outbreak kills 1, sickens 17 - CBS News

Food recalls increase drastically over the last six years, report finds

A new report is bringing concerns about the safety of our food and the rapid rate of Americans dying after eating contaminated food.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group report claims recalls of hazardous meat and poultry have gone up 83 percent in the last six years.

One in six Americans get sick every year from eating contaminated food, with at least 3,000 deaths per year.

“We should be able as Americans to trust that the food we buy is safe to eat,” said Adam Garber, a researcher for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. “There are opportunities to improve and hold companies liable when they are violating food safety plans.”

The report recommends the FDA require testing water used for irrigation, and for meat and poultry products declare when antibiotic resistant strains of salmonella are found.

The report also says FDA recalls of produce and processed food went up about two percent from 2013 to 2018.

Why more recalls? The National Chicken Council says it could actually be because of “tighter government standards, better testing and technology.”

But the report also came with recommendations. One of them, asking the FDA to require testing on water used on plants for hazardous pathogens like E. coli. Another recommendation is for the FDA to declare when “antibiotic resistant strains of salmonella as an adulterant” are found in meat and poultry products.

And remember the recent recall for E. coli in romaine lettuce?

It got more than 60 people sick in 16 states and it just ended this month.

The FDA traced that E. coli strain back to an agricultural water reservoir on a farm in California

The report also recommends the FDA declare when “antibiotic resistant strains of salmonella as an adulterant” are found in meat and poultry products.

Both the FDA and USDA have not commented on the report.

MORE: Sign up for recall alerts from the USDA

MORE: Search recalls from the FDA

Author: CBS News
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