'Lunch should not be a high-risk activity': Sen. Gillibrand aims to improve food safety rules
For U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the fact an estimated three million New Yorkers contract foodborne illnesses every year isn't acceptable.
Gillibrand, D-N.Y., unveiled a two-part plan designed to improve food safety standards. She has cosponsored the Safe Food Act of 2015 which would bring all labeling, food safety inspections and enforcement under an agency named the Food Safety Administration.
Right now, there are 15 agencies responsible for overseeing food safety, Gillibrand said. She used eggs as an example. Separate agencies are tasked with monitoring chickens for diseases, testing eggs for bacteria and overseeing warehouse conditions.
"The current system is fractured, bureaucratic and in some cases even lacks the most basic resources necessary to properly monitor our food," Gillibrand said on a call with reporters.
The Safe Food Act contains several other provisions, including increased inspections of food processing plants and slaughterhouses, more oversight of imported foods and setting standards for contaminants in food.
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