The FDA Just Explained Why There Have Been So Many Food Recalls This Year

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Indian Food and Beverages News

December 4, 2018

People reports the Center for Disease Control has investigated 22 outbreaks in 2018 so far, which is the highest number of investigations in 12 years. Lest it seem like food is becoming more and more unsafe to eat, the Food and Drug Administration just swooped in with an explanation on why there have been so many food recalls this year.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNN last week that the numbers of investigations will rise as their methods of finding outbreaks get better. I think that the issue isnt that theres more unsafe food, Gottlieb said. I think whats happening is that we have better technology than ever before to link outbreaks of human illness to a common pathogen.

Right now, the CDC has the ability to test samples from infected patients and genetically link the pathogens they find to food sources. However, Gottlieb explained, whats missing is the technology to track and trace an outbreak to a single distributer or grower, like with the recent romaine lettuce recall.

That said, there have still been major improvements in the last decade when it comes to food safety. Gottlieb pointed to 2011s Food Safety Modernization Act which focused on helping prevent food borne illnesses, rather than just reacting to an outbreak: I think food is more safe now than its ever been. We have much more resources and additional tools to do effective surveillance.

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