Meeting in Washington today on contaminated food, food safety

February 26, 2008

Executives from some of the nation’s largest food producers are scheduled to testify at a Capitol Hill hearing today on food safety.

ConAgra Foods, Butterball LLC and others food companies can expect intense questioning from The House Energy and Commerce Committee. All companies called before the committee have issued recalls on contaminated food over the past year.

“I look forward to asking them why the incidents involving their products occurred but also what our regulators were doing during these incidents,” said Committee Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich.

The “Contaminated Food: Private Sector Accountability” hearing comes a little over a week after the largest U.S. beef recall in U.S. history. On Feb.17, Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. recalled 143 million pounds of tainted beef.

The plant’s chief executive, Steve Mendell, was invited to appear at the hearing, though congressional staffers could not confirm Monday whether he would.

Also scheduled to appear is a director from the Humane Society of the United States, which precipitated the recall when it released undercover video of the conditions at a Chino, Calif. plant.

Dingell and other house Democrats are working on legislation to strengthen oversight of food safety.,


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