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Recent E. Coli Outbreaks Likely to Prompt Legislative Action

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Aired 4/19/09

Preventing further outbreaks of a strain of E. coli in California produce will likely take legislative action. A state senator is criticizing what he calls a reactive approach to the contamination incidents.  Sacramento reporter Jenny O’Mara has more.

State Senator Dean Florez called a special hearing on the deadly e-coli outbreak which stemmed from California produce. Citing several examples over the last decade, Florez said government agencies should do more to prevent the food-borne illness—and that will be the focus of a series of bills next year.

Florez: It will focus on runoff, it will focus a lot on testing water in a much bigger way for testing these pathogens.

The Food and Drug Administration along with the state Department of Health Services have been investigating the recent outbreaks of E. coli in spinach and lettuce. According to the FDA the industry should develop a plan to minimize another incident but implementation would be voluntary.

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