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food safety

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When the Peanut Corporation of America recalled thousands of peanut butter products in January for fear they were tainted with salmonella, news organizations all over the country rushed to local stores to find out what where PCA products were being sold. Justina Wang, 25, a recent Northwestern University grad who works at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, went a step further.

Picture of William Heisel

Justina Wang at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle tackled a topic that seems to scare most local publications: food safety.

With each food poisoning scare, local reporters cover what's happening at their corner stores. Few examine the root causes. With school board meetings, octuplet moms and a weekender due tomorrow, how could one possibly get to the bottom of our fractured food safety system?

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

California's efforts to regulate raw milk dairy products have been controversial, pitting public health advocates against passionate raw food devotees. This story details the aftermath of the first enforcement of new state regulations on raw milk products.

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Foodborne illness refers to any sickness that results from consuming a solid food, milk, water or other beverage, generally because it has been contaminated. The Centers for Disease Control estimated in 1999 that there are 76 million cases of foodborne illness annually in the United States, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. This is the most recent estimate available as of March 2010. The total impact of foodborne illness, however, is likely underestimated because many cases are not reported.

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