04/20/09   |   By

Are We Safe? U.S. Has a Patchwork of Food Safety Inspection Systems | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

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By Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire

Your chances of getting sick from tainted food may depend on how diligent your state inspection system is, according to an article in the New York Times this week.  “The longer it takes you to nail an outbreak, the more people are going to get sick,” said Dr. David Acheson, associate commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration. “And if it’s a pathogen that causes death, more people are going to die.”  Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division of food-borne diseases, said the agency planned immediate investments “to increase the capacity of several health departments.”

Both President Obama and the Congress have asked for more inspections and new food production rules in order to try to prevent tainted food-related outbreaks, but far less attention has been paid to fixing the outdated, underfunded system by which officials try to detect and stop ongoing outbreaks. According the Times article, “uncovering which foods have been contaminated is left to a patchwork of more than 3,000 federal, state and local health departments that are, for the most part, poorly financed, poorly trained and disconnected.”

If you or a loved one has become seriously ill or has died as a result of a tainted food product, you can call one of the attorneys at Regan Zambri & Long, who fight for consumers and their families, for a free consultation about your legal rights.

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