War heating up on food-borne pathogens Despite the upsurge in recalls, evidence shows that the government's meat/poultry inspection system has reduced pathogens in meat and poultry products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says. Also despite more meat/poultry food recalls in 2000 than any year since 1993, the incidence of some common food-borne illnesses appears to be down, the Centers for Disease Control says.