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Roundup: Find better way to find outbreak of salmonella

Washington Post When we wrote last month about the outbreak of the rare Saintpaul strain of salmonella bacteria, the prime suspects were Roma, red plum and red round tomatoes. Now they have company. The Food and Drug Administration is casting a w...

Washington Post

When we wrote last month about the outbreak of the rare Saintpaul strain of salmonella bacteria, the prime suspects were Roma, red plum and red round tomatoes. Now they have company. The Food and Drug Administration is casting a wary eye on jalapeno peppers and the ingredients for salsa (cilantro and serrano peppers). If the agency had the ability to require food producers to track their products from "farm to fork," finding the source of an outbreak wouldn't be like playing pin the tail on the chipotle.

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., was able to get a provision into the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2008 that would give the FDA the power to issue mandatory recalls of contaminated food. But she has yet to get a provision into the bill that would require the agency to devise a food tracing system. Rep. John D. Dingell,

D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who is shepherding the act through the House, must ensure that traceability is included in the final bill. The two provisions together would make a relatively safe food supply that much safer. We urge Congress to get this done - before chips and beer are implicated next.

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