Flaws in America's food safety system exposed in 'Eating Dangerously'

Sprouts & ground meats likely foods for outbreaks

DENVER - Two award-winning health and investigative journalists delve into the U.S. food safety system in the book "Eating Dangerously."

Michael Booth and Jennifer Brown were struck by the depth of the problems while they were working on the deadly 2011 listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes grown in Colorado.

Thirty-three people died and 147 people hospitalized in 28 states.

The Denver Post reporters list 10 issues you should consider as you shop and cook for your family:

1. There aren't enough federal inspectors to check on farms and manufacturing plants, so producers hire their own auditors to grade them.

2. It's hard to keep track of the mishmash of agencies and responsibilities. FDA?State? USDA?

3. If food illness strikes, Colorado is a good place to be.

4. Punishing the perpetrators is rare.

5. The  list  of "dangerous" foods holds surprises.

6. High-tech help for low-tech foods.

7. Chicken is the new ground beef.

8. The Food Act is underfunded.

9. The whole world is your kitchen.

10. Don't waste worries on spilled GMO milk.

Among the most the foods most likely to cause an outbreak : sprouts, ground meats, peppers, tomatoes and oysters.

You can read more about the 10 issues in the article titled "Eating Dangerously:' After deadly food outbreaks, here's what you should know about safety." 

The authors will talk about "Eating Dangerously" at 7:30 p.m. March 14 at the Tattered Cover, 2526 E. Colfax Ave.

You can read more about their work and what Booth and Brown discovered while writing "Eating Dangerously" on the Facebook page for their book.


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