Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar held a press conference today to announce new proposed leglisation to "promote a more rapid and effective national response to outbreaks of foodborne sickness." 

According to Klobuchar, the new act would, among other things:

  • Enhance the  Centers for Disease Control’s  (CDC)  foodborne disease surveillance system.
  • Direct CDC to provide more support to state health

A tip of the meat-thermometer to Herb Weisbaum for an excellent column on how stores could to a better job of notifying customers about recalled products.    Mr. Weisbaum points out that stores are the last line of defense in our food safety system.  He also points out that they often fail. 

California State Senator Dean Florez

David Smith of Journal and Courier reports that food-borne illness comes from consuming food or beverages that have been contaminated with a pathogen, such as a virus, a bacterium or a parasite.
Careful food preparation at the correct temperatures can kill microorganisms or prevent those that survive from multiplying and making the consumer ill.
Richard Linton, a Purdue University professor of food safety who has written two textbooks on the subject, said two crucial temperatures are 41 degrees and 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Within that range, dangerous bacteria can grow,” he said.Continue Reading Learning the ABCs of food safety

John Seewer of PennLive.com reports that big retailers such as Wal-Mart are encouraging growers to embrace new technology that allows them to more closely track produce with bar codes and scanners. Growers are using bilingual videos and posters to train seasonal workers on proper hygiene. Some small farms are treating the water they use to scrub veggies.
Throughout the food chain there’s more attention to food safety within the last five years because there’s more worry about how an outbreak of illness could cost growers and wholesale buyers millions of dollars.Continue Reading From field to fork, farm food safety a growing issue