Linda’s struggle over the last few years following an E. coli O157:H7 in 2009, over two years of hospitalization and two more years of rehabilitation, ended last night at 10:50.  Her loving husband and family were with her as they had been all along.  She was an amazingly strong, resilient and loving woman who will be missed.  Linda’s struggle caught the nation’s attention and helped galvanize the long needed discussion about safe food.  We all need to thank Linda and the whole Rivera family for that.

In 2010, Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks on the Senate floor to urge the passage of food safety legislation. Below are his remarks in part:

“No one in America should have to worry if their salad or sandwich is going to kill them. No one in the Senate should prey on that fear, or play with it like a political football.

“People often think of food poisoning as an upset stomach that goes away in a few hours or a day. And sometimes, yes, that’s all it is. But sometimes it is much worse.

“I have met with families who have been seriously sickened by the food they’ve eaten – people who were hospitalized for weeks and months and came very close to death. In some cases, they will deal with the results of their food poisoning for the rest of their lives. …

“I’ve also told the story of the Rivera Family from Las Vegas. Linda Rivera ingested E. coli from some cookie dough. Soon, she was in a coma. …

“So why have we waited this long to make our food safer? Why are we still playing these games? The answer is nothing more than politics. It’s shameful. And it should end today.”

The Food Safety Modernization act would pass.  We have Linda to thank for that.