An estimated 1 in 6 Americans get sick every year after eating contaminated food, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Vital Signs; 2011). There does not seem to be a week that passes without another food-related microbial outbreak, and the foods implicated in many of these infections often surprise us—from ice cream to convenience produce and salads to peanut butter and cantaloupes. The events themselves are all listed under the “News and Announcements” section of the US Food and Drug Administration’s “Food” homepage (http://www.fda.gov/Food/default.htm). This overview provides the best sources for keeping up to date on microbiological sources of foodborne illness and steps government is taking to deal with them.
A summary of Washington’s action on food safety
Mary H. Hager, PhD, most recently worked as a government relations professional advocating for nutrition, food, and health issues at the federal level at the American Dietetic Association and served as interim vice president for their government affairs office in Washington, DC. She also was a professor of Foods and Nutrition at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey, where she was also founding associate dean of the college’s Graduate Programs. In March 2011, she moved to Tokyo, Japan, to take up full-time alien residency for 3 years.
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Mary H. Hager, PhD (firstname.lastname@example.org).