Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT) released the following statement today on the report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Inspector General on the Food Safety Inspection Service N60 sampling procedure. This procedure ensures ground beef is produced in a way that minimizes E. coli contamination, and thus the threat to public health. A "high event" period is when a facility has multiple positive test results under the N60 protocol, indicating E. coli contamination, during a given production period.
"This report further questions the integrity of the N60 sampling program. Even a well-designed sampling program is only useful in protecting consumer health if it is performed accurately. Yet, the Inspector General's report indicates this sampling program may be both inadequately and improperly performed. Critically, it also highlights other weaknesses in our food safety system that need attention, such as meat inspections performed by states and the clear need for an improved response to "high event' production periods. American consumers deserve better."
DeLauro requested the investigation to ensure the N60 protocol is robust and protects the public from the risk of E. coli contamination in ground beef products. As a former Chairwoman and current Member of the House Agriculture-FDA Appropriations Subcommittee, DeLauro is a longtime advocate for ensuring our food supply is safe and meets current health standards.