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United Fresh and the Produce Marketing Association have issued a joint statement urging the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to clarify multiple inaccuracies contained in its report about the Top 10 Riskiest Foods in the US.

The list was topped by leafy greens, and followed up by eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts and berries.

HealthDay News wrote that “along with salmonella and E. coli, other pathogens causing outbreaks associated with these foods include Campylobacter, Scombrotoxin, Norovirus and Vibrio. The report noted that foodborne illness outbreaks are becoming more common in the United States because of a complex, globalized food system, outdated food safety laws, and the rise of large-scale production and processing.”

But in the letter, the two trade associations said that "by focusing your 'Top Ten' release solely on the food products listed, you are presenting a misleading picture to the American public. As you well know, food handling is often the cause of such outbreaks. And while you do provide some clarification in the full report, the reality is that most consumers and reporters will not go to the website for more complete information."

CSPI, however, maintains that the consumer role in maintaining the safety of such foods is relatively small.
KC's View:
The industry groups make a legitimate point. The list should have been publicized as something like “the ten foods you have to be most careful about handling,” or something like that.

Accountability is important…and that includes consumers. And the hardest part of the food safety chain to insure is how consumers handle the products they buy and feed their families…