Each year, 1 in 6 Americans will get food poisoning. When you add up the numbers, that is 48 million illnesses each year. Of these illnesses, about 128,000 of these people will be hospitalized. About 3,000 Americans will die.
Why? Because a company sold food that was contaminated with pathogens.
Food can become contaminated in many ways with many different vectors. Food can become contaminated with bacteria and viruses due to cross contamination, through sick food workers, the lack of handwashing, the lack of proper heating and cooking, and unsanitary food preparation or farming methods. Food can also become contaminated through the raising ocean temperatures or from animals.
Pathogens are not the only things that can make our food supply unsafe. Harmful chemicals and toxins also account for some of the sources that food has become unsafe in the United States. We get our food from many different countries and places. This makes it increasingly difficult to ensure that everything is properly inspected and checked. For example, imported spices are among those who have rising lead levels. Some forms of imported candy may have paints and dyes that have found to be harmful in humans. Seafood and fish are also coming in through imports with a rise in mercury or other harmful metals and plastics.
There is a growing concern for our food system about that we can do to stop this and help make our food safer for everyone. In the United States, the government has passed a set of laws, known as the Food Safety and Modernization Act, which allows imported to be treated in the same way as local food – with the same regulations and rules as that upon the United States’ standards. This means that other countries’ food must meet the same requirements as American food in order to be imported and sold in the American market.
And it is just in time too. The American food system has a great many issues. It is part of our job to help make the food system safer, for our families, our children, and our communities. From farm to plate, everyone deserves to eat safe food.
But despite the laws and the push for safer food, Americans are still getting sick. That is where we come in.We are the champions for people who have been harmed by contaminated food or water. We use the law to protect your rights.
When companies sell food that makes people sick, lives can go to pieces. We help people put the pieces back together again.