The Obama Administration today announced several steps to improve the safety of the nation's food supply including reducing the threat of E. coli O157:H7 through stepped up enforcement in beef facilities, cutting Salmonella risk in poultry products and building a national traceback and response system to track the sources of illnesses.

Vice President Joe Biden told invited guests at a White House briefing that there are few responsibilities more important for the government than making sure the food our families eat is safe. "Our food safety systems needs an update,” Biden said.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined Vice President Biden to outline the President's Food Safety Working Group findings. AMI and other stakeholders attended the briefing.

Specifically, by the end of the year, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will develop new standards to reduce the prevalence of Salmonella in turkeys and poultry. The agency will also establish a Salmonella verification program with the goal of having 90 percent of poultry establishments meeting the new standards by the end of 2010.

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