The Jack in the Box outbreak in 1993 was a warning siren.
Authorities in Europe are trying to pin down the cause of a widespread and deadly outbreak of food poisoning. In the U.S., the Obama Administration is wrestling with a proposal to screen hamburger for additional varieties of deadly E.coli bacteria.
The U.S. already tests ground beef for one strain of E. coli. The USDA has proposed a crackdown on other types, similar to the one behind the European outbreak. In a political climate that's increasingly hostile to regulation, though, the rule's been held up inside the White House.
President Obama had been in office less than two months when he announced a fresh commitment to food safety. He approached the issue not only as president but as a parent. No one should have to worry about getting sick from the peanut butter on a child's sandwich.
"There are certain things that we can't do on our own," Obama says. "There are certain things only government can do — and one of those things is ensuring that the foods we eat, and the medicines we take, are safe."
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