Foodborne illness is costing the U.S. $152 billion annually, according to a new report released by the Make Our Food Safe coalition Tuesday.  What states topped the list with highest foodborne illness-related costs?  Connecticut, Hawaii, Florida, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, the capital Washington (District of Columbia), Mississippi, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey. 

This important study was released as congress is working on legislation that would be the first major change in food safety in 50 years.  Yes, 50 years.  The goal is to bring the bill to the Senate by Easter, but supporters are worried that the frenzy around healthcare reform will postpone forward movement.  However, the Make Our Food Safe Coalition, which is made up of public health consumers and industry groups, are working hard to keep things on schedule  Today they rallied a group forty-five victims of foodborne illness on Capital Hill in support of the Food Safety bill. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 76 million people in the United States get sick each year with foodborne illness and 5,000 die.  By passing this legislation, not only would we save billions of dollars, but we’d also be saving lives.  It’s time for change.  If you want to find out more about how to take action to help pass strong food safety legislation, visit MakeOurFoodSafe.org.

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