Photo: Jon S / Flickr, CC BY 2.0 Is anything safe to eat these days? The regular flow of news on how pathogens in our food are making us sick—or, in the most extreme cases, even killing us—might make it seem like we’re taking a big risk every time we sit down for a meal or a snack.

But all those headlines—stay with me here—might actually be a good thing. Yes, it seems counter-intuitive. But in reality, we may not be facing more cases of food-borne illness but instead getting better at finding them and tracing them back to the source.

“Detection has gotten better over the last 20 years,” Bill Marler, an attorney and one of the preeminent experts on food-borne illness, tells Fortune.

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