sombnsWhen a fierce winter storm tossed the Santa Clara I in New Jersey coastal fishing waters on January 3, 1992, 432 drums of toxic arsenic trioxide washed over-board. As a salvage firm and the Coast Guard cleaned up the spilled cargo, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) swept into action. Thanks to the FDA, no contaminated seafood ever found its way into stores.

The FDA is on the scene after hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes, when foods damaged by floodwater or power loss threaten to compound public health problems. After Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston, South Carolina, in 1989, more than 1.7 …