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The New York Times reports that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday that “about 48 million people a year get sick from tainted food, down from the previous, often-cited estimate of 76 million. The number of deaths estimated to come from food poisoning also went down, to about 3,000 a year from 5,000.

“The revision means that one in six Americans gets sick each year from tainted food, not one in four, as the old study, conducted in 1999, projected.

“The estimates were part scientific detective work and part guesswork ... government statisticians extrapolated the number of nationwide illnesses from data on tens of thousands of lab-confirmed illnesses in 10 states. They also used information from telephone surveys.”
KC's View:
Here’s the really important part of the story.

The CDC said that this does not mean that fewer people are contracting food borne illness, just that the government is getting better at making its calculations. And, the CDC said, the statistical adjustment does not mean that the government needs to do less do deal with food safety issues.

Agreed. We need to do more. That’s good government. And it is good business.