Food Safety: Protecting the Nation's Food

As Dr. Richard Besser reported today on "Good Morning America," the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs more authority, money and efficiency in order to help protect the public from food-borne illness outbreaks, according to a report released Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine.

The FDA is responsible for the safety of approximately 80 percent of the nation's food while other government bodies, such as Department of Agriculture, oversee the remainder.

In response to the report, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg released a statement that said in part, "We already are making significant progress to ensure government agencies are working seamlessly to protect the American public at FDA, we are engaged in the long-term, strategic transformation of our food program..."

VIDEO: New report: FDA needs to be more efficient in preventing foodborne illnesses.
Keeping Our Food Supply Safe

CSPI's Top 10 Riskiest Foods

The Center for the Public Interest released this list of what the organization called the top 10 riskiest foods based on reported cases of illness. Check out the list below and then read on for tips on how to keep your food safe.

LEAFY GREENS: 363 outbreaks involving 13,568 reported cases of illness
EGGS: 352 outbreaks involving 11,163 reported cases of illness
TUNA: 268 outbreaks involving 2341 reported cases of illness
OYSTERS: 132 outbreaks involving 3409 reported cases of illness
POTATOES: 108 outbreaks involving 3659 reported cases of illness
CHEESE: 83 outbreaks involving 2761 reported cases of illness
ICE CREAM: 74 outbreaks involving 2594 reported cases of illness
TOMATOES: 31 outbreaks involving 3292 reported cases of illness
SPROUTS: 31 outbreaks involving 2022 reported cases of illness
BERRIES: 25 outbreaks involving 3397 reported cases of illness

Tips to Keep Your Food Safe

Regardless of which type of food could have a food-borne illness, here are some tips to help prevent it and keep you and your family safe.

A 2006 E. coli outbreak that took three lives and left hundreds of people sick was thought to be linked to spinach. CLICK HERE for tips on the best way to help prevent illness by washing those leafy greens.

Chicken can carry salmonella, the number one food-borne illness in the United States. CLICK HERE for some tips to help you cook the meat properly.

E. coli infections from strain 0157:H7 have been blamed for sickening 70,000 people every year, Dr. Richard Besser previously reported. CLICK HERE for the best ways to keep your meat safe, including the best way to ensure that your meat is properly cooked.

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