The White House is pledging stricter oversight of food safety in response to a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 500 people in the United States and Canada and killed at least eight. Press secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday that President Barack Obama plans to announce a new Food and Drug Administration commissioner and other oversight officials in the coming days. Gibbs said they will put in place a "stricter regulatory structure" to prevent breakdowns in food-safety inspections. Gibbs said recent revelations about poor oversight have been alarming. He said he was referring to both the government’s own regulatory system and to the peanut company linked to the Salmonella outbreak.
President Obama, Mr. Gibbs, the "Batphone" number is 1-206-346-1890.