LOS ANGELES, CA - You've noticed that there seems to be a new salmonella or listeria outbreak every other day. People have died from eating contaminated peanut butter, cheese, and even bagged salad. The Office of the Inspector General has noticed, too. And they just called out the FDA for being way too slow to initiate food recalls.
The OIG reviewed 30 cases between 2012 and 2015 to check the efficiency of America's food recall system- and they were NOT impressed.
In 2013, a listeria outbreak killed one person, caused a miscarriage, and hospitalized four others. In the past year, 12 people have been hospitalized in 6 states from infection due to contaminated lettuce.
The preliminary report found that "consumers remained at risk of illness or death for several weeks after FDA was aware of a potentially hazardous food in the supply chain."
One outbreak that stood out was that salmonella peanut butter. The company didn't issue a recall until 5 months after the agency first identified it as a potential problem.
We ALL can agree we want recalls to be quick, but the FDA responded saying that they should be "done on an individual basis, rather than by setting arbitrary deadlines."
The general public, and the FDA, can expect a full audit in the near future.