NEWS

Food Safety Bill Approved by Congress

By Teresa Anderson

A food safety bill (H.R. 2751) has been approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. President Obama has announced that he will sign the bill, possibly as early as today.

Under the measure (.pdf), companies that manufacture, process, pack, distribute, receive, hold, or import food would be required to implement safety measures to protect that food from contamination. Companies would be required to test these measures on an ongoing basis and document the outcomes. The government would establish regulations to prevent the intentional adulteration of food.

To prevent contamination from e-coli and salmonella, companies that produce and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables would be required to establish science-based minimum standards for safety.

Under the bill, the government would inspect facilities based on how great a risk contamination or adulteration would pose to the public. Companies would pay a fee to fund the inspection program.

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