a plate of sprouts and other vegetables

Pathogens and food safety: Farm to fork

Effective efforts should always be made to ensure that the food reaching consumers will not make them ill. Here's how we advocate for safe food.

Pathogens, microscopic organisms such as viruses and bacteria, is sometimes found on food in types and amounts that can make us sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million Americans still get ill from foodborne pathogens each year. CSPI monitors whether both industry and the government are following science-based best practices to protect consumers.

In many cases, the food safety risk to consumers starts on the farm. Animals who are infected with dangerous pathogens can pass them on to consumers through the meat, eggs or dairy that is produced from them. Pathogens from these animals (or humans) can also contaminate growing fields. Whenever possible, it is best to control these pathogens on the farms before they can contaminate food.

Beyond the farm, food safety risks can also arise at many times, including at harvest, slaughter, transport, grocery stores, and consumer kitchens. CSPI advocates for policies that help ensure good food safety practices from farm to fork.

Featured campaign: safer poultry products

CSPI is leading in the fight to modernize poultry safety rules. With a broad coalition including foodborne illness survivors and poultry companies, we're asking the USDA to update its regulations and help minimize illnesses from Salmonella, Campylobacter, and other pathogens.


Issue area

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are crucial to effective medicine, helping to fight infections caused by bacteria that the body cannot eliminate. Efforts must be taken to minimize the risks of creating bacteria populations resistant to medically necessary antibiotics.

About this issue

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