After learning of the recent recall of 390 tons of beef for E. coli contamination, U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), a longtime proponent of stronger food safety laws, called for the creation of an independent science board to review the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) efforts to protect public health.
“While any food safety recall is a major concern to me, this one is especially alarming as some of the products included were produced almost two years ago,” said DeLauro in a statement emailed to reporters. “This is a glaring indication that the current inspection system for meat and poultry is inherently flawed and not sufficient to protect the public health.”
“Contaminated meat products continue to enter our food supply at a disturbing rate,” added DeLauro, who called for a comprehensive review of the meat and poultry system at USDA by an external, independent science board.
DeLauro stated that the independent board would, “support and advise USDA, ensure that the inspection process is rigorous and scientifically robust, and recommend changes to any practices that are insufficiently protecting our food supply.”
This week’s recall, which consisted of approximately 864,000 pounds of various ground beef products, was announced by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The recall was the second major Class I meat recall in a row to be announced on a holiday– FSIS announced the last E. coli beef recall on Christmas Eve.