November 2008

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) identified a total of 5,778 outbreaks of illness linked to specific foods, involving 168,898 individual illnesses that occurred between 1990 and 2006. An outbreak involves two or more ill people. The food categories most commonly linked to outbreaks were:

• Seafood: 1,140 outbreaks involving 11,809 cases

Today, seventeen months after the first reported illness and thirteen months after the recall, the CDC finally issues its final report on the 2007 Salmonella serotype I 4,5,12:i:-* infections. The CDC report summarizes the results of the investigation, which determined that 401 cases of salmonellosis occurred in 41 states during 2007, with 32% of ill

Dawn Withers, a.k.a. “the lettuce lady,” reports tonight what has long been suspected and rumored; the Salinas Valley is again the likely source of yet another E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. The “Lettuce Lady” quotes Ken August from the California Department of Public Health that it is investigating whether a Salinas Valley farm is the source

According to press reports this morning, an Arizona researcher found 40 percent of meat products tested from three national chain stores were contaminated with bacteria normally associated with severe hospital infections. Federal health officials, however, say more study is needed to determine whether C. diff is transmitted through food. A potentially deadly intestinal germ increasingly

In April 2007, Rick Perlstein penned a piece entitled “E. Coli Conservatism.”  His bottom line was the “Conservatism has been killing Americans. The recent food safety crisis is only one case study.”  Perhaps he is in part right.  However, whatever the political reasons for the “food safety crisis,” it has been long in coming and