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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

USDA – you must be kidding – No test and hold?

Robert Roos, CIDRAP News Editor caught the USDA ones again saying that it is interested in public safety, but when no one is looking changes the rules.  Mr. Roos’ article entitled, “USDA modifies E. coli testing rules for Canadian beef,” is frankly shocking. According to the story, the “USDA has modified its program of increased testing and inspection of Canadian meat, after finding no problems in the first week or so, a USDA official said today.” Wow, after nearly killing 40 people in the US in the Topps E. coli outbreak (and, no one is counting the 44 sick and 1 dead Canadian), and after one whole week of testing, our government decreases testing AND allows meat to be shipped to consumers BEFORE test results even come back.

Mr. Roos also reported that, despite hundreds of people sickened in the US in 2007 and over 30 million pounds of meat recalled, the “USDA is not considering requiring American meat companies to hold meat until pathogen testing is completed, contrary to a recent news report…. the USDA has long had guidelines recommending that companies hold meat until test results come back, "but it’s not something we require."

Does anyone wonder why people think government is useless?

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