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The big food safety stories of 2024 have yet to be written. Let’s work together to keep it that way.


It's hard to believe that another year has passed us by so quickly.  From a food safety perspective, there is no question that 2023 was a challenging year for the food industry which resulted in too many “preventable” outbreaks and illnesses.  

 

In 2023, an outbreak related to cantaloupe caused hundreds of illnesses in both the U.S. and Canada and resulted in 7 deaths.  Another tragic outbreak last year was associated with lead intoxications among children linked to cinnamon-flavored applause pouches marketed specifically for kids. As we closed the year, there were over 251 cases of lead poisoning in children across 34 states.  And as one last example, over the summer of 2023, the U.S. received reports of over 2,000 consumers ill with a rare food and waterborne parasite called Cyclospora.  The number of cases of this rare parasite almost doubled this year, as compared to previous years. 

 

I could go on and on, but I won’t.  You can find a thorough review of some of the noteworthy outbreaks in 2023 here.  

 

Clearly, the battle against foodborne disease wages on without significant reductions in the incidences of most foodborne pathogens over the past two decades. 


While regulatory activities matter, they’re not what matters most. What matters most is outcomes or proven results that our work is achieving reductions in foodborne illnesses.


We CAN bend the curve of foodborne illness, but it will require creativity, innovation, collaboration, and CHANGE. Let's start, together, today.


Best Wishes to all for a Wonderful and Safe 2024.


Frank


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