Is Your Food Safe?

E-coli, Salmonella, and Listeria Monocytogenes. Fungi, viruses, parasites, and bacteria in foods are estimated to account for 6.5 to 33 million cases of human illness and up to 9,000 deaths in the United States each year. Since 1992, when E coli contaminated hamburger in a fast-food restaurant in Washington and made 500 people ill, consumers seem to be more aware of the potential problems with food safety. Now the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates as many as 20,000 cases of E coli infections happen every year. And many people even know that the nitrates in your water may cause blue baby syndrome. If you need the facts on food safety, contact the government’s main information center on the topic: USDA/FDA Foodborne Illness Education Information Center, National Agricultural Library/ USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705; 301-504-5719; fax: 301-504-6409; {foodborne@nal.usda.gov}.

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