As our diets consist more and more of processed food, many companies have created calculations for safety standards vs. profit when it comes to supplying what we eat. Although many advances have been made in understanding how food may become contaminated, money saving techniques usually will out over quality control. Many of the people who (immediately) get sick from their food don’t even realize it was something they ate, and think they have a cold or flu. We are seeing more cases of illness as food production becomes more centralized.
- Nearly 20 percent of Americans are sickened each year by something they ate. Hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands die.
- 48 million annual illnesses are caused by foodborne pathogens in the U.S. alone
- 8 in 10 outbreaks involved food prepared in commercial settings (granted, I bet the proportion of food EATEN in the US is like 9 out 10 meals, so this isn’t surprising)
- Annual average foodborne illnesses attributed to various sources:
- – Aquatic animals – 6.1%
- – Land animals – 41.7%
- – Plants – 51.1%
- – Undetermined – 1.1%