Posted September 24, 2018 11:16:18 The food in your fridge could be contaminated with bacteria, viruses or even harmful chemicals, according to new federal data.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report Wednesday that says more than 5.4 million food products purchased nationwide in 2017 are in the process of being tested for bacteria or contaminants.
The report is the first look at the numbers and rates of contamination.
“There is significant concern about the risk of foodborne illness from food products that are stored or stored in a contaminated environment,” said USDA Deputy Director Tom Pfeifer in a statement.
“These findings demonstrate that the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 (FSMA) and the Food Inspection Service (FIS) must be amended to ensure food is safe.”
The report also reveals that food packaged in the U.K. and Australia were also the subject of an investigation by the FDA.
The two countries were among 11 U.N. member countries that issued a global alert last week after a report found that contaminated imported food was being shipped to U.A.E. and the U/A/U region.
The report found more than 1.2 million food samples in the United States tested positive for bacterial or viral infections.
That’s compared to 1.05 million in Britain, 0.95 million in Australia and 0.74 million in the rest of the world.
“While we don’t know the exact numbers of food products in our country that have been contaminated, we are seeing a large number of food items that have a potentially harmful effect on humans and the environment,” Pfefer said.
“We need to work with our international partners to make sure our food supply is safe.
This is especially critical for the U./A/T region.”
Pfeifer said the new study highlights the need for the government to work together with the food industry to address the growing problem of food contamination.
Food companies and the government should focus on improving safety and hygiene practices, the USDA said.
“The Food Safety Food Labeling Act (FSFA) requires that food labeling contain all relevant information on the origin of the food, including: ingredients, date, source and type of origin.”