Food Product Design: Meat Safety, Accountability Act Proposed

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the Meat Safety and Accountability Act to improve the ability to trace the original source of contaminated meat.

Currently, contaminated meat products are only traced back to the packing plant or butcher shop they came from. But dangerous food contamination often begins earlier in the supply chain–at the slaughterhouse, where meat sometimes comes into contact with animal hides or manure.

Tester’s legislation requires the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service to design and implement – using its existing budget – an initiative to trace tainted meat back to the original source of contamination. The bill also improves testing at meat suppliers and individual meat processors in the case of an outbreak.

Tester said his legislation is designed to hold “the right people accountable when something goes wrong,” such as potentially life-threatening outbreaks of E. coli or salmonella contamination.

“This bill puts more common sense and fairness into the equation as our food travels through the supply chain to the kitchen table,” Tester said. “This bill will make our food safer to eat by ramping up accountability. And it will help small meat processors in rural America that too often get blamed for contamination that didn’t begin with them.”

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