Today, The Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)released the conclusions of a study conducted since 1990 in which scientists kept a record of the number of outbreaks and the number of reported illnesses due to contaminated foods.
The ten most dangerous foods according to the records are: 1. leafy greens (lettuce and spinach); 2. eggs; 3. tuna; 4. oysters; 5. potatoes; 6. cheese (improperly pasturized); 7. ice cream (due to undercooked eggs added); 8. tomatoes; 9. sprouts (alfalfa, bean); 10. berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries).
These foods, the CSPI discovered, are the major sources for food-borne illnesses such as: E. coli, Norovirus, salmonella, and harmful toxins. The main culprit is the lack of safety plans in growing, harvesting, shipping, and manufacturing.
However, manure, contaminated irrigation water, and poor handling procedures also were found responsible. The CSPI pointed it's finger at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to blame for this situation:[q url="http://www.money.cnn.com"]Millions of consumers are being made ill, hundreds of thousands hospitalized and thousands are dying each year from preventable foodborne illnesses," the study said. "Unfortunately, the FDA is saddled with outdated laws, and lacks the authority, tools and resources to fight unsafe food.[/q]
Naturally, many organizations, such as the FDA, The National Milk Producers Federation, The Blue Water Fisherman Association, The American Blue Fin Tuna Association, and The Western Growers Association, were on the defensive after the release of the report and statements were made to reassure the consumer, and attack the validity of the report, cites Aaron Smith for Cnn Money.
Some might cynically suggest that, tommorrow, all these groups, and manufacturers as well as retailers, will be preocuppied watching the Stock Exchange to observe how their shares react and their stocks perform. Most of the rest will be watching what happens the day after and beyond to keeping our food industry safe and the numbers from CSPI continually decreasing.