Three consumer groups have identified 85 nationwide food recalls that occurred in the past 13 months, and 56 of them affected Pennsylvania. The majority of the recalls were linked to Salmonella.
The recalls involved products ranging from Herr's potato chips to Freshway Food's lettuce. Most of the contaminated foods didn't lead to outbreaks, but nine outbreaks were linked to at least 1,850 illnesses. Experts suspect that the actual numbers are much higher because many food poisoning cases go unreported. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that tens of millions of Americans are sickened by foodborne illness every year and hundreds of thousands are hospitalized.
In July of last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed reform called the Food Safety Enhancement Act. The Senate's version of the bill has stalled, but if passed, both would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to set safety standards and order recalls. They would also require the FDA to increase the frequency of inspections.