Food Illnesses Decline, CDC Reports

US - Despite the recent E. coli spinach outbreak, food may be safer now than at any other time in the last decade, with illness occurring at record-low rates, new federal statistics show. </b> <br><br> Consumers get part of the credit, for handling food more safely at home, but experts say the biggest improvement came from better industry controls and inspections. <br><br> &quot;The food is actually cleaner to begin with,&quot; said Dr. Robert Tauxe, top food scientist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Certain germs have dramatically declined, and &quot;that to me is really solid progress.&quot; <br><br> However, the trend could reverse in coming years if fruit and vegetable growers do not address problems like those that led to the spinach scare, Tauxe and others said. <br><br> &quot;The meat and poultry industry has made great strides. The produce industry has a long way to go to catch up,&quot; said Michael Doyle, a microbiologist who heads the University of Georgia&#39;s Center for Food Safety. <br><br> <i>Source: Abc News</i>

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