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Chambliss hears testimony on food safety oversight

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-GA Feb. 4 received testimony during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing focused on federal food safety oversight practices in the wake of the latest salmonella outbreak stemming from a peanut processing plant in Georgia. Sen. Chambliss said the goal of the hearing was to help the committee examine the various roles of federal and state officials and the responsibilities of private food manufacturers in ensuring that our food supply is safe.

"I hope this hearing allows us to identify how to better coordinate the federal, state, local and private-sector response to a food safety situation," said Sen. Chambliss, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. "Our goal is to put in place the most effective tools to protect the American consumer. I appreciate the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention witnesses for sharing their knowledge with us today, and I look forward to continued collaboration with the agencies as we move forward to develop and implement improvements to protect our food supply."

Sen. Chambliss noted that the fact that a contaminated product was ultimately used as an ingredient in hundreds of other products has challenged our food safety system to a new degree. The hearing provided an opportunity for the witnesses to assess best practices and offer suggestions on how to improve the current system.

"An effective public-private sector partnership is critical to ensuring a safe food supply," said Sen. Chambliss. "The private sector has the responsibility to follow federal guidelines and ensure the safety of their products. The federal and state governments have the responsibility to oversee these efforts and take corrective actions when necessary. We need to quickly identify gaps in the system and act swiftly to correct them."

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