US Food Safety Efforts Struggle Amid Death, Illness
Mon Oct 7,10:47 AM ET
By Carey Gillam 

KANSAS CITY (Reuters) - For Elsa Murano, a leader in the fight over US food safety, the news has not been good lately. 

With at least 20 deaths and 120 illnesses in eight Northeastern US states connected this week to food poisoning, and investigators probing a separate contamination problem that sickened dozens of people in the Midwest, the system the Murano is charged with strengthening appears very much broken. 

'That is awful, absolutely terrible,' said Murano, under secretary for food safety for the US Department of Agriculture. 'I can't tell you how urgently I feel we need to do something about this.' 

Food safety is a significant problem in the US, with thousands of people made ill every year from what they eat. The severity of the sicknesses ranges from stomach cramps to death and often times the culprit is as innocuous as the lettuce leaves from a local salad bar or the medium-rare burger from a backyard barbecue. 

All told, an estimated 5,000 people die from food-borne illnesses each year and an estimated 76 million become ill in the United States. From 1990 to 2002, more than 90,300 different food-borne illnesses were reported, according to a report issued last month by the Center for the Science in the Public Interest. 

Salads, pizza and sandwiches were linked to 11,500 cases of food poisoning. Overall, the most common bearers of bad bacteria are produce, poultry, eggs, beef and seafood. 

'Food safety problems are falling through the cracks,' said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of CSPI's food safety program and an active lobbyist on Capitol Hill. 'There is a huge amount of work to do.' Question Who's Online | Find Members | Private Messages
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1,105 hits 4.0 (3 votes) Share Favorite | Flag 19 years ago by KikiPeepers

Do you worry about food safety?
US Food Safety Efforts Struggle Amid Death, Illness

Mon Oct 7,10:47 AM ET

By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY (Reuters) - For Elsa Murano, a leader in the fight over US food safety, the news has not been good lately.

With at least 20 deaths and 120 illnesses in eight Northeastern US states connected this week to food poisoning, and investigators probing a separate contamination problem that sickened dozens of people in the Midwest, the system the Murano is charged with strengthening appears very much broken.

`That is awful, absolutely terrible,` said Murano, under secretary for food safety for the US Department of Agriculture. `I can`t tell you how urgently I feel we need to do something about this.`

Food safety is a significant problem in the US, with thousands of people made ill every year from what they eat. The severity of the sicknesses ranges from stomach cramps to death and often times the culprit is as innocuous as the lettuce leaves from a local salad bar or the medium-rare burger from a backyard barbecue.

All told, an estimated 5,000 people die from food-borne illnesses each year and an estimated 76 million become ill in the United States. From 1990 to 2002, more than 90,300 different food-borne illnesses were reported, according to a report issued last month by the Center for the Science in the Public Interest.

Salads, pizza and sandwiches were linked to 11,500 cases of food poisoning. Overall, the most common bearers of bad bacteria are produce, poultry, eggs, beef and seafood.

`Food safety problems are falling through the cracks,` said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of CSPI`s food safety program and an active lobbyist on Capitol Hill. `There is a huge amount of work to do.`


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19 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Tuesday 11/5/02 - 4:08:00 PM EST (GMT-5)
Not overly concerned. I've eaten thousand of meals in my life and I've never gotten a bad meal yet.
19 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Thursday 11/7/02 - 2:32:04 AM EST (GMT-5)
I have, and trust me, after you get that bad meal you definitely worry about food safety!
19 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Thursday 11/7/02 - 2:34:09 AM EST (GMT-5)
Not really, although I do cook the hell out of any meat product I buy.
19 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Thursday 11/7/02 - 2:34:18 AM EST (GMT-5)
only when I eat out.
19 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Saturday 11/30/02 - 11:30:20 AM EST (GMT-5)
Not since I've stopped eating ANY animal product about five months ago. "Overall, the most common bearers of bad bacteria are produce, poultry, eggs, beef and seafood." Kinda says it all.
19 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Saturday 11/30/02 - 12:43:09 PM EST (GMT-5)
#1 on that list was produce though calfhill!
19 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Saturday 11/30/02 - 1:04:30 PM EST (GMT-5)
i've never gotten sick from fastfoods or anything else... until that moment i'm not worried at all
19 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Monday 12/2/02 - 12:05:36 PM EST (GMT-5)
I won't argue that produce is always safe. "...As innocuous as the lettuce leaves" would suggest otherwise; however, salads typically include chesse, ham, bacon and/or eggs. Additionally, many salad dressing contain dairy and eggs. My point is that most food poisoning is a result of bad meat. One need only read the newspapers to know what the biggest culprit is.
19 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Monday 12/2/02 - 12:09:43 PM EST (GMT-5)
I do because I get sick all the time from things I eat. I suffered a four-day bout of food poisoning after a White Castle meal a few years ago. Ever since then I'm a freak about clean, fresh, sanitary food and restaurants.
19 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Monday 12/2/02 - 3:48:09 PM EST (GMT-5)
You get food poisining from mammal feces, not from meat. Produce can come in contact with feces at any time - vegetarians aren't safe from it.
19 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Monday 12/2/02 - 3:50:25 PM EST (GMT-5)
when i go to fast food places i worry about it
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Monday 1/20/03 - 6:48:10 AM EST (GMT-5)
sometimes when i go to mcdonalds only because i know someone who works there and they tell scary stories
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Monday 1/20/03 - 7:01:20 AM EST (GMT-5)
yes. i stupidly bought a chicken sandwich from a dodgy looking sandwich place at a train station in london recently. i was so scared that i'd get food poisoning
19 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Monday 1/27/03 - 2:38:26 PM EST (GMT-5)
yea ever since i worked at KFC and seen what really goes on with ppls food i do
17 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Sunday 12/5/04 - 7:53:06 PM EST (GMT-5)
17 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Sunday 12/5/04 - 8:21:37 PM EST (GMT-5)
Not very consistently. I went to a bar to watch a game yesterday, and to keep my consumption to a minimum, I sipped my beer only when Duke scored. I kept a napkin over the top of it the rest of the time, to ward off germs. I took it with me to the bathroom to ward off date rape drugs.
But usually I eat stuff off the floor and without washing my hands.
17 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Monday 12/6/04 - 12:30:30 AM EST (GMT-5)
Food safety? I've lived through my wife's cooking. I could eat kryptonite and it not phase me.
16 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/21/05 - 3:47:10 AM EST (GMT-5)
Yeah, actually I do.
16 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/21/05 - 3:48:34 AM EST (GMT-5)
Not as much as I should.
16 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/21/05 - 3:53:44 AM EST (GMT-5)
the fact that it could be the food you cook at home, makes not worry as much cause, I guess you can screw your family over without intentions LOL
16 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 10/13/05 - 10:45:42 PM EST (GMT-5)
16 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Wednesday 11/2/05 - 5:00:18 PM EST (GMT-5)
no, but there was an e-coli outbreak in south wales schools a few months ago which got people worried...
15 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Wednesday 10/4/06 - 4:08:38 AM EST (GMT-5)
Yes. After getting E. Coli from a salad.
15 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Wednesday 12/6/06 - 11:38:39 AM EST (GMT-5)
Yes, I am a health freak. I always remember this: You are what you eat!
15 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Friday 12/8/06 - 12:02:13 AM EST (GMT-5)

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