Photo of the Carnegie-Knight News21 Program

Twenty-seven News21 fellows from Arizona State University, University of Maryland, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska and Harvard University collaborated in 2011 to examine food safety issues through in-depth stories, photos, video, graphics and interactive databases. The stories, originally published by The Washington Post and featured on, also appear on the websites of News21 and the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization. The News21 program is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to promote in-depth, interactive and innovative investigative journalism at journalism schools across the country. It is headquartered at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Outbreaks from Salmonella-contaminated ground turkey killed one person and sickened nearly 90 others in 28 states this year, highlighting the dangers associated with a product increasingly popular with consumers as an alternative to ground beef.


Producers are not required to keep poultry with salmonella bacteria off the market. The government considers some contamination inevitable and …

In chicken houses longer than a football field, newborn chicks huddle together for warmth, forming a fuzzy, moving yellow carpet.

Over the next two months, these chicks will peck at the dirt, nibble on pellets, get packed into crates, be trucked to a slaughterhouse, get cut into parts and arrive at a distribution center for …

Two-tenths of a penny per dozen. That’s what it costs Pennsylvania farmers to make eggs safer. By disinfecting henhouses, trapping rodents and regularly testing for harmful bacteria, the state’s egg farmers have cut the presence of Salmonella by more than half.


But egg producers in much of the rest of the country haven’t followed suit. …

Russell Libby and Brian Snyder walked out of the Rayburn House Office Building on a brilliant spring day in April 2009 shaking their heads.


The two were on Capitol Hill representing the interests of small farms as Congress drafted legislation to revamp the food safety system. Congressional staffers had just informed the pair that, in …

Inconsistent reporting of foodborne illnesses among states leaves large portions of the country vulnerable to the spread of potentially deadly outbreaks before health officials can identify their causes and recall contaminated foods.


Since 2006, Salmonella outbreaks from products such as eggs, cantaloupe and turkey burgers have sickened at least 6,000 people, resulting in more than …

Against the backdrop of San Francisco’s skyline, investment banker Ali Dagli strolled through rows of fresh-picked produce, chatting with farmers as he carefully packed his purchases into a canvas bag slung casually over his shoulder.


“It’s great to see these guys who are passionate about the food that they bring here,” said Dagli while shopping …

A growing reliance on new, cheaper and faster testing for infectious diseases has experts questioning the accuracy of a reported decline of E. coli O157 cases in the U.S., challenging one of the nation’s few food safety success stories.


Rather than identifying the specific strain of E. coli, such as O157 or O104, faster tests …

Eating organic may limit your exposure to pesticides. It may make you feel environmentally conscious. It can help support local farmers.


But scientists warn it won’t necessarily protect you against foodborne illnesses. Organics, like conventionally farmed foods, can harbor dangerous pathogens including E. coli and salmonella.
A 2006 study in the Journal of Food Science