New website database provides info on food safety

Food borne illness outbreaks have become one of the most common threats to our health in the U.S. in recent years. From small batches of tainted vegetables or the incomprehensibly large scale of the more than half a billion eggs recalled last year for salmonella, to the lethal melamine tainted pet food in 2007 — fears are at an all time high.

For most Americans it’s virtually impossible to grow all of the food we eat, which means we rely heavily on farmers and manufacturers to provide us with staple items from fresh fruits and vegetables to grains and animal products, putting us at their mercy. Factory farm animal waste run-off totals in the hundreds of millions of tons annually — getting into water and soil where it taints foods with e coli, salmonella and other potentially deadly microscopic hazards.

Contamination is the main reason why the Food Safety Bill was proposed and pushed through — to increase methods of protection from potentially lethal bacterium before they make their way into our food supply poisoning innocent people. Though measures in the Bill are designed to prevent large-scale contaminations, outbreaks are still a threat to our safety — so many, in fact, that it’s hard to keep track of them all.

Seattle law firm known for representing victims of food borne illnesses, Marler Clark, knows first hand how these pathogens are affecting Americans and how few resources there are to educate consumers. Marler Clark responded to this important issue by launching Outbreakdatabase.com, which allows concerned individuals to search for food borne illness outbreaks in their state by pathogen and by month. Outbreakdatabase.com links to comprehensive information on recalls including manufacturer item numbers and official FDA reports as well as thorough information about common foodborne pathogens.

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Photo: x-ray delta one courtesy of Creative Commons