Targeting troublesome levels of E. coli contaminated ground beef in the food supply, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced the E. Coli Eradication Act.
Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said the legislation would for the first time require E. coli inspections on all ground beef. Currently there is no federal requirement for meat grinders to test for the virus.
A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report indicated that nearly 1 in 300 samples of ground beef contains E. coli, a news release from the senator's office said.
Gillibrand's office released data showing that more than 900 food products have been recalled from New York City shelves since 2005, including fresh vegetables, glazed ham, dried prunes and chicken frankfurters. Gillibrand outlined a food safety plan to improve inspection, recall response and public education.
Gillibrand also is co-sponsoring the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, authored by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
"In America, in 2009, it is unconscionable that food is still going straight to our kitchens, school cafeterias and restaurants without being properly tested to ensure its safety," she said in the release. "We need to do a better job of catching contaminated food before it ever comes close to a kitchen table."