Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is pressing the Food and Drug Administration for more information regarding the Listeria outbreak connected to prepackaged caramel apples that sickened 32 people in 11 states and contributed to the deaths of at least three. Klobuchar wrote to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to ask that the agency “expediently work to analyze the outbreak and the response in order to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.” The outbreak, which began in October, was traced back to apple supplier Bidart Bros. of Bakersfield, CA. Environmental testing of the company’s plant revealed strains of Listeria that matched human samples, and Bidart Bros. issued a recall for the contaminated apples. Now, Klobuchar is asking about how FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local partners coordinated their efforts in responding to the outbreak and tracing its source. “Could additional collaboration have led to a more effective or quicker response?” she asked. The senator also wants to know whether it was necessary to wait for laboratory testing at Bidart Bros. before any products could be recalled, or whether epidemiological and trace-back findings could have been enough. In addition, Klobuchar wants more information about how recently Bidart Bros. had been inspected and whether it had a history of food safety violations. “This outbreak highlights the critical importance of effective collaboration between FDA, CDC and state and local partners to protect Americans from harmful food products,” she wrote. “I appreciate your prompt attention to the concerns outlined in this letter and look forward to continuing to work with the FDA to ensure the safety of American families.”