Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement today after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it is taking aggressive new steps to prevent E. coli from entering the American food supply. In 2010, Feinstein wrote to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service urging the ban of threatening pathogens from hamburger meat.
“I applaud the USDA’s decision to block all raw beef contaminated with dangerous strains of E. coli bacteria from entering America’s food supply.
“Over a year ago, I expressed concern that all dangerous E. coli bacteria strains had not yet been declared contaminants in food products. At the time, the FDA was recalling thousands of pounds of lettuce that was causing illnesses across the nation. Since then, the USDA estimates that over 110,000 people have become ill from E. coli strains that were not regulated.
“The decision today will provide peace of mind to American consumers and prevent serious illnesses or deaths. This is a smart step towards a more aggressive USDA and FDA when it comes to protecting the public from the harmful effects of bacteria and chemicals in our food.”