Legislators introduce food safety recall bill – Is your representative on the list?

April 17, 2008

Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) and 10 co-sponsors last week introduced the Food Safety Recall Information Act (H.R. 5762), which would require USDA to list all of the retail stores and school districts that have received food products subjected to a recall.

Since Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. recalled 143 million pounds of beef earlier this year, DeLauro and other legislators have repeatedly called for this transparency.

In a news release, DeLauro also objected to a proposed USDA rule that would make this information available only for Class I recalls, which pose the highest risk of human illness, noting that would have excluded the Hallmark/Westland recall, a Class II recall.

Specifically, the Food Safety Recall Information Act would:

  • require USDA to list all retail stores and school districts that received meat products subjected to voluntary recall, regardless of class of recall.
  • require companies that recall any USDA-regulated food product to provide a list of retail stores and school districts that received the product.
  • require USDA to update this list continuously as the information is received, whether by the company doing the recall, or notification from the entity receiving the product.
  • eliminate what it called a “loophole” that allows some downed cattle to be slaughtered under certain circumstances if they pass an additional inspection.

Co-sponsors include Reps. James McDermott (D-Wash.), Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Betty Sutton (D-Ohio), Steven Rothman (D-N.J.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), James McGovern (D-Mass.), Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).

Source: Janie Gabbett on 4/14/2008 for Meatingplace.com

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