Meat industry official: Despite problems, food safety system not broken

The U.S. food safety system isn’t perfect, but it is not as bad as some would have us believe.

That was the message delivered by Jim Hodges, theexecutive vice president of the American Meat Institute, at a Farm Foundation meeting in Washington, D.C. this week. Hodges acknowledges room for improvement in meat and poultry inspection. But he points out that foodborne illnesses associated with meat and poultry consumption have declinedmarkedly. He cites statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show pathogens most commonly associated with meat and poultry make up only a fraction of the total foodborne illnesses and deaths in the U.S.

Hodges says meat industry will cooperate inefforts to ensure that the U.S. maintains the safest food supply in the world.

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