Why do foodborne illnesses happen if food safety is regulated?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Foodborne illness occurs for many different reasons and each outbreak is different. In some cases, a food producer may have been lax with testing or cleaning practices. In others, it may have been a supplier, like a farm, that sent contaminated ingredients that were then incorporated into a product. These lapses tend to occur when companies try to cut corners to lower the cost of their goods or how much it costs to make food.

Before the revision of the food safety laws in 2011, inspections were uncommon because there weren’t enough inspectors to cover the huge number of food producers in the U.S. Inspections now occur at least every three years. Unfortunately, three years is still a long time and regulators don’t always catch everything. The fact that 50 million people are still thought to get sick from food every year means the industry is far from perfect. More needs to be done to safeguard American health and prevent some of the 3,000 annual deaths related to foodborne illness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.