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DeLauro Disappointed by Non-O157 STEC Policy Delay

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Ct), who serves as Ranking Member on the

Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, expressed disappointment Tuesday regarding the U.S. Department of

Agriculture’s announcement that there will be a 90 day delay in

implementing their new non-O157 E. coli policy.


As her office noted in a release: “Congresswoman

DeLauro has advocated for the USDA to issue a strong rule identifying

the six most virulent strains of E. coli as adulterants to strengthen

our food safety system by protecting consumers from these grave

pathogens. In September, 2011, the USDA announced that it would expand

testing for these six additional strains of E. coli bacteria.”

The delay pushes back the routine sampling of the six additional STEC serogroups, O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145, to June 4, from the original deadline of March 5.

FSIS said the purpose of the extension is to “provide additional time for establishments to validate their test methods and detect these pathogens prior to entering the stream of commerce.”


“I am disappointed by this announcement, as these strains of E. coli are

dangerous and place the safety of the public health at risk,” said DeLauro. “I hope

that the testing techniques are available soon, and I look forward to

the implementation of this rule in June. We know these strains are

dangerous and we should move quickly to protect American consumers.”

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