WASHINGTON — New safety standards aimed at reducing salmonella and E. coli outbreaks are part of a U.S. government effort to try to make food safer to eat.
A food safety panel established by U.S. President Barack Obama developed the new rules for eggs, poultry, beef, leafy greens, melons and tomatoes as well as for better co-ordination and communication among the agencies overseeing the nation’s food supply.
The panel was to announce Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration and the Agriculture Department would adopt the standards, which follow a string of breakdowns in food safety.
Earlier this year a massive salmonella outbreak in peanut products sickened hundreds, was suspected of causing nine deaths and led to one of the largest product recalls in U.S. history.
In the past month, Nestle Toll House cookie dough and 170,000 kilograms of beef produced by the JBS Swift Beef Co. of Greeley, Colo., have been recalled due to connections with outbreaks of E. coli.
In March, Obama said he would create a special advisory group to co-ordinate antiquated food safety laws and recommend ways to update them. The FDA does not have enough money or workers to conduct annual inspections at more than a fraction of the 150,000 food processing plants and warehouses in the country, Obama said.