Make Our Food Safe
05/26/2010

"Lettuce outbreak shows need for reform"

The Hill | Caroline Smith DeWaal

"Like the coming hurricane season, one major outbreak was recently announced, while another could be already forming. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced there were at least a dozen people hospitalized and three probable victims of related kidney failure called HUS. This summer, the “storm” season for outbreaks started with lettuce. Two summers ago, it was tomatoes and then peppers that were recalled following a major nationwide outbreak. But unlike hurricanes, there are steps that can be taken to prevent these outbreaks. From farm to table, the way that food is grown, gathered, processed and handled can make its safety more certain.

The Senate is poised to vote on legislation that would ensure everyone involved with food production would take steps to keep food safe. Through the use of more frequent inspections, new standards and scale-appropriate safety plans, and tougher enforcement tools, both domestically produced and imported food will be safer once the new bill is implemented. But implementation won’t occur until the law is passed..."

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