Proposed Bill to give USDA Mandatory Recall Authority

United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing additional legislation that would give the US Department of Agriculture mandatory recall authority over meat, poultry and some egg products.   This comes on the heels of a discussion, among law makers, of a single food safety agency, at the national level.

Under the proposed legislation, USDA can recommend a voluntary recall in the event of a foodborne illness outbreak or the detection of pathogens in meat, poultry and egg products. If the retailer, manufacturer, distributor or importer would refuse the recall, then the Secretary of Agriculture would have the authority to issue a mandatory recall and notify affected processors, packers, retail outlets and consumers. This legislation could assess penalties for refusal to comply with the recall.

The Act would also encourage retailers to use their preferred shopper loyalty card systems to track these products and notify consumers of a recall of a product they specifically purchased.