The job of performing food-safety inspections has shifted in the past two decades from the government to third-party auditors, raising concerns about the foodborne illnesses that kill 3,000 Americans annually and send 128,000 to the hospital. The for-profit companies that contract with producers make public their ratings but not their reports, and in some cases, they have financial ties to the operations they are inspecting. Last year, the Colorado cantaloupe farm whose produce was linked to 33 listeria deaths was awarded a top safety rating.
Outbreaks raise questions about third-party food safety auditors
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