In just the past two months, food companies and government safety agencies have issued recalls for hamburger, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, cheese, smoked salmon, spinach dip, ground turkey and cantaloupes.
At least 13 people are already believed to have died from eating cantaloupes grown on one farm in Colorado, the deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness since 1998. That recall came just a month after Cargill launched the second-biggest meat recall in history, involving 36 million pounds of ground turkey. The salmonella traced to the meat has been blamed for one death.
Some will say these tragedies confirm all that is wrong with how food is grown, distributed and sold in the U.S. and much of the developed world. I'd argue the opposite: that the recalls prove that the U.S. food safety system works far better than most people give it credit for.