Consumer groups recently released a report urging the U.S. Senate to pass its version of a food safety bill (S. 510) in light of a recent egg recall linked to foodborne illness. Published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the Consumer Federation of America, the report examines “85 recalls that have taken place in the year since food safety reform moved to the U.S. Senate.” The U.S. House of Representatives passed its food reform bill (H.R. 2749) on July 30, 2009.
“The recalls involved tons of foods, including many name-brand products from more than 150 companies,” according to the report, which purportedly found that a majority of the recalls involved Salmonella and Listeria. “While most of the recalls were not connected to outbreaks, illnesses were associated with nine recalls that together were associated with 1,850 reported illnesses.”
“Recalls and outbreaks are the most public consequence of our ‘horse and buggy’ food safety system,” said CSPI Food Safety Director Caroline Smith DeWaal at a September 8, 2010, press conference. “Consumers are sometimes sickened and everyone up and down the chain has to check for, remove, and destroy the contaminated products. Only Congress can fix the underlying problems by passing legislation that has been languishing in the Senate for over a year.” See CSPI Press Release, September 8, 2010.