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Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak Exposes Food Safety Weaknesses
Date:11/18/2008

Produce Safety Project Report Makes Recommendations for System in Critical Need of Reform

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Weaknesses in food safety policy, organization and communications were all displayed during this summer's outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul, according to a report released today by the Produce Safety Project (PSP), an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts at Georgetown University.

The report, "Breakdown: Lessons to Be Learned from the 2008 Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak," represents an in-depth review of the public record of last summer's Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that caused illnesses in more than 1,400 people across the country. For a full copy of the report and the executive summary click here: http://www.producesafetyproject.org/reports?id=0001

Congressional leaders and produce industry representatives have called for public health officials to conduct an analysis of the public health system's response to the outbreak. The report is an effort to frame questions that such a review should consider. In particular, the report focuses on: food safety policy; the public health system's organization, capacity and effectiveness in the outbreak response; and risk communications with the media and the public.

Highlights and recommendations from the report include:

The need for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use its existing statutory authorities to establish mandatory and enforceable safety standards for fresh produce. While FDA officials said the outbreak showed the need for these standards, they said Congress needs to pass legislation to grant it explicit authority to do so. However, the report notes that FDA has already used existing authorities to put in place preventive safety standards for seafood in 1995 and for j
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SOURCE Produce Safety Project, an Initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts at Georgetown University
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