Scientists say the bacteria that cause food poisonings aren't going away, despite the efforts of the food industry to eliminate them.New germs arrive in imported foods and bacteria develop in new forms, according to a study from the Institute of Food Technologists. The bacteria Listeria monocytogenes are so common in the environment. It's practically impossible to keep food entirely free of them.
The scientists also say the increasing use of manure as fertilizer poses the risk of spreading harmful bacteria to food, either by contaminating irrigation water or by coming into contact with crops. The study also warns against overuse of antibiotics in livestock, saying there is growing evidence that it's causing bacteria to become resistant to drugs.
The study also raises concern about the regulation of imported fruits and vegetables and the potential for new pathogens getting into the country. FDA inspects less than 2 percent of imported fruits and vegetables. Major supermarket chains, worried about new outbreaks of salmonella and other bacteria, have recently started requiring domestic and foreign produce suppliers to be inspected by private firms.