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U.S. food safety not getting better

The United States is not making progress in improving the safety of food as hundreds of people continue to be sickened by unsafe food linked to recalls each year, according to a new report.

The report by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that from January 2011 through September 2012  more than 1,750 people got sick by tainted food that was eventually recalled and pulled from store shelves. Thirty-seven people died.

The food recalls during that time period included cantaloupe, ground turkey, papaya, mangoes, raw tuna and peanut butter linked to salmonella outbreaks.

The country this year is on pace to double the number of foodborne illnesses from last year.

U.S. PIRG said the country's food safety practices are "falling short."

The Food Safety and Modernization Act passed in 2011 was meant to improve safety by focusing on prevention. It called for strengthening inspections of food manufacturing sites, among other things.

But U.S. PIRG said lack of funding and bureaucracy in the rulemaking process has stalled efforts.

The group is calling for lawmakers to properly fund the Food and Drug Administration so that the agency can implement the new laws. It also wants to see food safety improved at the local and international level, and see more unannouced inspections of food facilities.


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