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Figure 3

A visual representation of tracking the food back to the source when finding the point of contamination.

Often, a food goes through multiple processing and distribution steps. For instance, a food is shipped to Processor A who makes it into Product X. That product is shipped to three large distributors or suppliers, each of which sells it to two processors. Each of those processors uses Product X as an ingredient in five new products, each of which is shipped to multiple retailers and purchased by consumers.

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