Congress is under pressure to take up major food-safety legislation this fall that would offer sweeping proposals for regulatory change. The country's appetite for reform, however, is likely to collide with an uncomfortable reality: The responsibility for food safety, as it works today, lies heavily in private hands. Even as bacterial outbreaks have become more high-profile and the financial fallout from recalls more severe, the government has been handing off many food-safety responsibilities to industry. Food safety today is a business—and a booming one at that.
Whenever it is possible, try buying from local vendors who live and work in the same community, or at a local farmer's market.
The produce is apt to be much more fresh - and less hazard prone - than you will generally find at a large-scale grocery chain.