How strong is food safety regulation after America's worst food-borne outbreak in a decade? A peek at a Mexican packing plant shows that rules are nearly nonexistent, the AP reports. The plant in northern Mexico, suspected of sparking the recent salmonella outbreak that sickened 1,400, washes produce from certified and uncertified growers—but even regulated producers aren't on any government list.
Mexican producers only need to register online to export to the US, where the FDA inspects less than 1% of all imports, leaving food safety in the hands of industry. This free market regulation gives Mexico’s many sanitary producers a bad name, one farmer says: "Those who grow in open fields will ruin it for those who produce in greenhouses, and that's not fair."