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Suit seeks USDA action on antibiotic-resistant salmonella in meat

Posted May 30, 2014 5:45 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A lawsuit filed on Wednesday seeks to prod the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take action on meat tainted with antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed the lawsuit (PDF) on Wednesday in federal court in Washington, D.C., according to Reuters and a press release.

The suit seeks action on the CSPI’s three-year-old petition asking the USDA to treat antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella in ground meat and poultry as an adulterant, which would bar sale of the meat.

Labeling the dangerous salmonella as an adulterant and requiring “aggressive” industry testing would keep the contaminated meat out of the food supply, as it does with products contaminated with dangerous strains of E. coli, CSPI food safety director Caroline Smith DeWaal said in the press release.

Now the USDA only takes action after people start becoming ill, DeWaal said.

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