If there's something we tend to take for granted, it's food safety. We hardly expect the bag of lettuce we buy at the supermarket, or the jar of peanut butter or the cantaloupe, to harm us.
But 2012 has shown us that as consumers it pays to be vigilant -- mass production often lends itself to facilities that have proved a fertile breeding ground for harmful pathogens like salmonella, e. coli and listeria. Still, even small producers often find themselves caught up in recalls.
Among the most dangerous recalls this year was one involving cantaloupes, which sickened upwards of 150 people and killed two. Another involving a tainted tuna product sickened 116 and sparked a debate about "tuna scrape." "Pink slime" was another hot topic in recent months, raising concerns and questions from health experts and other members of the food community.
The best way to protect yourself is to stay informed. With that in mind, click through the below gallery of 2012's biggest food safety disasters.