Scary Foods: Outbreaks That Helped Spur the Food Safety Bill
Eggs, spinach, peanut butter, peppers — after several years of headline-grabbing food recalls, the Senate on Tuesday approved the biggest food safety changes in 70 years, passing a sweeping bill that, if signed into law, would expand the power of the Food and Drug Administration to oversee food production.
What were those recalls? The graphic below shows some of the largest E. Coli and Salmonella outbreaks of the past four years.
The bill, which passed with bipartisan support in a 73-25 vote, would give the FDA the authority to order mandatory food recalls and to conduct more frequent inspections, put new responsibilities on food producers to track their safety measures, and set new safety regulations for imported food.
So will the bill become law? It still needs to be reconciled with a version passed by the House last year. On Tuesday night that looked likely, but on Wednesday Roll Call and others reported that a technical glitch over a tax provision could stall the legislation. Stay tuned.
Infographic by Vanessa Dennis