WASHINGTON , March 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of Trust for America's Health (TFAH):
Today's recall of pistachios is the latest reminder of how vulnerable our food safety system is. Our current food safety system is not adequately set up to respond to many modern threats to our food, including Salmonella. Our food safety system is out-of-date, under-resourced, and understaffed. It is encouraging that this response was so quick, but we need to move to a system that focuses on prevention through the entire food production process.
It is also encouraging that Kraft Foods alerted the FDA to the results of its internal food testing and was able to identify the Setton Pistachio company of Terra Bella, California, as the source of the contaminated pistachios. However, it should be noted that notification of this sort is not required under current food safety laws, and, as we saw in the case of the Peanut Corporation of America, often companies conceal these results from state and federal food safety officials."
TFAH released a report last week, Keeping America's Food Safe: A Blueprint for Fixing the Food Safety System at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which called for:
Approximately 76 million Americans -- one in four -- are sickened by foodborne disease each year. Of these, an estimated 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die. Foodborne illnesses cost the U.S. $44 billion annually.
The full report is available on TFAH's Web site at www.healthyamericans.org.
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.
|SOURCE Trust for America's Health|
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