The safety of the US food supply from disease or contamination has not significantly improved in recent years, the New York Times reports today. A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that occurrences of major illnesses from tainted food have held steady for the past 3 years, with a statistically insignificant rise in salmonella infections.
The plateau means the US is not on track to meet goals set in 2000 as part of the government’s “Healthy People 2010” program, which sought to halve salmonella infections. The CDC says the report shows an urgent need to overhaul the food-safety system, but others say the nation has already made many of the most important improvements. “You can only tell people so much to wash their cutting boards and wash their hands,” said one epidemiologist.