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USDA, HHS praise guidelines for outbreak response

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently commended the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response for the new Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response. These guidelines assist local, state and federal agencies in preventing and managing foodborne disease outbreaks through planning, detection, investigation, control and prevention.

"Improving food safety is at the forefront of President Obama's agenda, and these guidelines will help local, state and federal agencies to prioritize prevention, strengthen surveillance and enforcement, and improve response and recovery," Vilsack said. "Last week the Obama administration took an important step forward by introducing tougher standards to reduce Salmonella contamination and E. coli outbreaks, and the guidelines announced today will help government agencies further that goal."

On March 14, the president created the Food Safety Working Group, co-chaired by Secretaries Vilsack and Sebelius. The Working Group is charged with enhancing our food safety system by building collaborative partnerships with consumers, industry and our regulatory partners.

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