Food safety bill expected to become law
In a surprise move, the Senate passed a food safety bill on Sunday that will become the first overhaul in decades.
The Washington Post reports that the measure fixes a technical glitch that almost scuttled the legislation. The Senate had added fees on companies that recall tainted food, but tax measures cannot origniate in that chamber.
The House is expected to pass the bill and President Obama is expected to sign it.
The measure had wide support from business and consumer groups, though there was some threat of a filibuster in the Senate.
Many groups pointed to new estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found 1 in 6 people get food poisoning a year, and 3,000 die.
The new legislation calls on businesses to come up with measures to prevent contamination, and new testing, rather than relying on government inspectors to catch tainted food in the factory. The measure does also call for more inspectors.
Some meat and egg products will be exempt because they are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Associated Press photo of spinach after the 2006 E. coli. outbreak