Produce Handlers help curb foodborne illnesses

Posted on December 16, 2015

Fresh produce items like cilantro, cucumbers, cantaloupes, and peppers that are often eaten raw cause more foodborne illness than any other single category of food, according to a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. From 2004 to 2013 total cases studied there was a total of 193,754 illnesses reported from 9,626 outbreaks. An outbreak is defined as two or more cases of a similar illness caused by the same food source.

That doesn’t mean Americans should avoid fruits and vegetables, CSPI says. While the number of outbreaks and illnesses is large, on a pound-for-pound basis fresh produce is safer than many other foods.

New rules from the FDA will give the feds more oversight over produce farms and packaging facilities that handle foods usually eaten raw. One provision overhauls the feds’ rating system for trucking companies, a victory for the industry! The law blocks public access to some safety ratings until Uncle Sam addresses potential flaws in the review system. Meanwhile, shippers are likely to develop their own systems of safety ratings and reviews. Related measures are designed to help veterans find work in the trucking field

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