New report shows increased food recalls is part of a bigger problem

National News

AUSTIN (KXAN) — 2018 saw several recalls on food products, ranging from E. Coli contaminated lettuce to beef tainted with salmonella. A new report from TexPIRG Education Fund shows that these recalls are evident of a large trend of issues with the country’s current food safety system.

According to the report, ever since the nation’s last significant food safety law was passed, the Food Safety Modernization Act, different types of food recalls have drastically increased. The report does state that scientific advances have led to more thorough investigations which results in some of the recalls, there are also gaps in our food safety system.

“The food we nourish our bodies with shouldn’t pose a serious health risk. But, systemic failures means we’re often rolling the dice when we go grocery shopping or eat out,” Texas Public Interest Research Group Education Fund Director Bay Scoggin said. “Serious health risks are preventable through common sense protections from farm to fork.”

Listed are some key findings from TexPIRG Education Fund’s report: 

  • Meat and poultry recalls that cause serious health problems have increased by 88 percent.
  • There has been a 24 percent increase in food recalls from 2013 to 2017.
  • Certain antiquated laws allow meat producers to sell contaminated products.
  • Irrigation water polluted by fecal matter from cattle caused the E. Coli romaine lettuce recall back in the spring of 2018.

“Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility is alarmed at recent data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) showing a sharp increase in the number of food recalls, especially those most likely to cause a health hazard or death,” said Steve Mckee, Director of Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility.

You can read the TexPIRG Education Fund’s full report here.

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