FDA USDA FSISAJC reports that with many Americans switching to a more health-conscious diet that includes fresh vegetables, the nation must do a better job against food-borne illnesses.

The most recent outbreak — salmonella poisoning linked to contaminated lettuce and tomatoes — sickened 171 people in 19 states, including Georgia, and came not long after a deadly and more serious outbreak of E. coli that caused spinach to disappear from menus and grocery shelves.

Federal responsibility for food safety is spread across at least 15 agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture. When a crisis erupts, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention swoops in to determine what went wrong.