According to the global food source monitoring company Food Sentry, the U.S. was one of the top 10 countries with the most food safety violations in 2013.
In 2013, Food Sentry added more than 3,400 verified instances of food safety violations associated with products exported from 117 different countries. The incident data were gathered from multiple sources, including the U.S., the E.U., and Japanese regulatory entities.
At the top of the list was India, with about 380 of the incidents identified worldwide. China followed, with about 340; Mexico with 260; France with 190, and the U.S. with 180. Vietnam, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Turkey and Spain round out the top 10.
The incidents in the dataset addressed raw or minimally processed foods, including seafood, vegetables, fruits, spices, dairy, meats, grains, and nuts and seeds.
Food Sentry also analyzed the source of the problems and found that more than a third of them were due to “excessive or illegal pesticide contamination.” The next main causes of food safety problems were pathogen contamination and excessive filth or insanitary conditions.
“Food safety violations are nothing new,” said Food Sentry Senior Intelligence Analyst Zak Solomon. “They’ve just been receiving a lot of attention lately and rightly so. We import from every single one of the countries in the top 10.”
To give the data perspective, Food Sentry also points out in its report that no country inspects more than 50 percent of food that it imports, and most of them inspect much less than that. The U.S. inspects fewer than 2 percent of its imported food.© Food Safety News