Food safety: Why going to your supermarket may be more dangerous than you think

Oct. 11, 2012 at 7:34 AM ET

Melissa Lee’s 10-month-old daughter, Ruby, became desperately ill last year after eating ground turkey tainted with salmonella. She was just one of 48 million Americans sickened by tainted food last year. Three thousand died. Ruby recovered, though doctors say she may have some lasting effects.

“You shouldn’t have to worry that what you’re eating is going to kill you,” Lee told NBC senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency responsible for food safety, actually inspects only 6 percent of food facilities in this country. Most food safety inspections are done by private companies hired by the food industry, and according to an investigation by Bloomberg Markets magazine, in too many cases they've failed to stop illnesses and deaths.

“We found case after case where private inspectors were going in and saying everything was fine and great even as people were dying or right before they died, which shows there is something wrong with the system,” says Stephanie Armour of Bloomberg Markets magazine.

More about food safety:

Peanut butter plant tests positive for salmonella; recall widens

Moldy applesauce repackaged by school lunch supplier

Grieving pet owners take jerky treat fight to stores

Ground turkey tied to salmonella death