U.S. Food Supplies Have Never Been Safer (162)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Food poisoning of school children naturally raises parents’ concerns, but United States food supplies are safer today than they have ever been, University of Tennessee food scientist Curtis Melton said Friday.

 Melton referred to the recent exposure of school children to Hepatitis A from eating tainted strawberries as well as other outbreaks in the general population tied to E. coli bacteria fast food hamburgers, apple cider and oysters.

 “Several things have happened that might create the impression that our food is not safe,” said Melton, “but our food supply is safer than it has ever been.”

 Melton said one reason food poisoning outbreaks may seem to occur more often is that diagnosis is better and cases are more often reported.

“In the past, food poisoning symptoms were usually attributed to another sickness, such as flu,” Melton said.

 “Today people are more conscious of it and the media are more available to report it. It creates the perception that there are more cases.”

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 Contact: Curtis Melton (423-974-7334)