Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., says she is authoring the E. Coli Eradication Act. The new legislation would require all plants that process ground beef to test their products regularly before it is ground and again before it is combined with other beef or ingredients, such as spices, and packaged.
The bill would also require the company to properly dispose of any contaminated batch, or cook the meat to a temperature that destroys the E. coli. Gillibrand said the bill will include appropriate penalties for companies that fail to implement testing mechanisms at their facilities.
In announcing her intent, Gillibrand said it is unconscionable that food is still going straight to kitchens, school cafeterias and restaurants without being properly tested to ensure its safety. She concluded that a better job of catching contaminated food before it ever comes close to a kitchen table is needed.