Ga. panel approves food safety changes

ATLANTA (AP) - A sweeping new food safety measure proposed in
the wake of the salmonella outbreak has passed its first key
legislative hurdle.

The Senate Agriculture Committee voted unanimously Wednesday on
a plan that would require food makers to alert state inspectors
within 24 hours if a plant's internal tests show its products are
contaminated. The bill also would force the companies to conduct
the tests at least once a year to supplement surprise state and
federal inspections.

It now goes to the full Senate.

The proposal is a response to the salmonella outbreak linked to
a Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Ga. Investigators say
the Lynchburg, Va.-based company knowingly shipped salmonella-laced
products even after internal tests showed they were contaminated.

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