Report: Safeguarding Public Health

Recipe for Disaster

Food Recalls Proliferated While Food Safety Fix Awaits Action in the Senate
Released by: U.S. PIRG

The recall of more than 500 million eggs from two Iowa egg farms is the largest but not the last of 85 recalls that have taken place in the year since food safety reform moved to the U.S. Senate. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Food Safety Enhancement Act (H.R. 2749) on July 30, 2009. However, the Senate’s version of the bill – the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) – has languished while waiting for time on the Senate’s floor schedule.

To assess one cost of that delay, Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group studied recalls of foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from August 1, 2009, to the present. That study found that a wide variety of foods were recalled in the 13-month period due to contamination by Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and other bacteria. In several cases, the recalls involved products that found their way into other foods, expanding into a “rolling recall” with successive announcements as more contaminated products were identified by FDA. The recalls involved tons of foods, including many namebrand products from more than 150 companies.

Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening these lifesaving antibiotics. Call on the Obama administration to put an end to the worst practices. 

Support Us

Your donation supports U.S. PIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code