Not exactly fresh out of committee, but out of committee nonetheless, senate bill 510 (a/k/a the Food Safety Modernization Act) makes its way to the senate floor soon, possibly this week.  The full senate debate and subsequent vote is certainly timely, as just today Michael Moss was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his story on Stephanie Smiths E. coli O157:H7 illness and Linda Rivera’s long-awaited emergence from a Nevada hospital where she has spent almost a year after also being infected by E. coli O157:H7.  Stephanie was sickened by a hamburger made by Cargill, and Linda by contaminated cookie dough made by Nestle

The Food Safety Modernization Act is truly an important piece of legislation, in that it affects every citizen of this country, and even some abroad, on a daily basis.  The bill substantially modifies the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetics Act, and generally gives the Food and Drug Administration better authority and ability to monitor the safety of our food supply, and take quicker and more effective action for food companies that don’t adequately protect against foodpoisoning risks. 

Among other, more specific, things, the Food Safety Modernization Act:

Continue Reading Summary of Food Safety Modernization Act (Senate debate pending)

The USDA announced Tuesday that ground beef patties distributed to schools had been recalled for contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.  According to the USDA recall announcement:

hamburgerThe Maramont Corporation, a Brooklyn, N.Y, firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 88 pounds of a beef patty product that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department

According to Cargill and FSIS press releases: Cargill Meat Solutions said it is voluntarily recalling approximately 1,084,384 pounds of ground beef produced at its Wyalusing, Pa., Cargill Regional Beef facility because of the possible presence of E. coli O157:H7. The ground beef products subject to recall were produced at the Wyalusing plant between Oct. 8 and 11, 2007, and were distributed to retailers nationwide.  In addition to the below listed products, there are various weights and varieties of ground beef, ground chuck, and ground sirloin product that were distributed for further processing and repackaging and will not bear the same establishment number on the package.  Products subject to recall are:Continue Reading List Of E. coli-Contaminated Cargill Product Subject to Recall

Shawnee McFarland of The Herald Online (South Carolina) reports that burger lovers will soon be able to order a rare burger like this one cooked at McHale’s on Main Street on Friday. However, burger lovers will be carded to make sure they are at least 18 and asked to read a disclaimer that the restaurant isn’t responsible for illness as a result of eating a rare burger.
Since the mid-1990s, hamburgers in South Carolina have been cooked one way: well done.Continue Reading Like dine-out burgers rare? New state bill is on your side reports that several metro middle school students were sick Friday night after eating food that had been left out since before Christmas.
Cafeteria workers at Western Oaks Middle School, in the Putnam City school district, on Northwest 23rd Street made the mistake, officials said. According to reports, the workers left behind a tray of about 25 burgers inside a warmer.
When school resumed after the holiday break, that food was mixed with fish sandwiches and served to students.
Officials said they took immediate action to get the bad food out of the cafeteria rotation. However, 10 students took at least a bite of old hamburger. Some ate the whole thing.Continue Reading Bad Burgers Make Metro Students Sick