A US report on food recalls has highlighted concerns about the current food safety system after meat and poultry recalls continue to remain ‘sky-high’.
A food report- “How Safe is Our Food” issued by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund analyzed 8 separate instances of food recalls in the past decade and found that lapses in food protection policies, enforcement and inspection were jeopardizing the health of the American population.
Speaking to Fox News, Adam Garber, head of PIRG’s Consumer Watchdog team said: “This year, we see an even clearer trend that there’s a divergence between food overseen by the USDA and the FDA.”
“It’s a complicated division of labor between the two agencies.”
While recalls due to hazardous meat and poultry have risen 85% from 2013-2019, outdated factory machines and slow-moving regulatory guidelines involving water systems are other contributing factors to the rising number of recalls in the past decade, states the report.
According to recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million Americans fall ill with food- borne diseases, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 succumb to these infections.
However, the annual PIRG report has noted that after the FDA implemented the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the agency has been able to cut down the amount of hazardous food being sold by 34 percent. Although, Garber noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has still to implement more stringent measures to ensure food entering the market under its jurisdiction is safe and edible.
“Food recalls indicate where the problems are and where we should put energy into making our food safer,” said Garber
“When we implement protections, they work, and when we leave them on the store shelf, people get hurt.”
What steps should the Government implement to prevent contaminated food from entering the market? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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