Recently, we addressed the massive recall of over one million hard-cooked eggs throughout 34 states due to possible listeria contamination, and unfortunately the recalls did not stop there. An article published in the Washington Post on February 7th revealed a similar recall of over 2,800 chicken salad sandwiches in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia that may also be contaminated with listeria. These sandwiches are suspected to contain listeria-contaminated eggs that were recalled in last week’s incident, and some of the sandwiches may have already been consumed.
This outbreak is a major cause for concern as listeria is a dangerous bacterium that can cause serious infections and even death, especially in young children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems. Listeria infections can result in high fever, headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and worse yet, miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.
As we discussed the Food Safety and Modernization Act would give the FDA the resources it needs to sufficiently oversee the country’s food supply, but unfortunately this act has received only a portion of the money it should have received.
The recent egg and sandwich recalls have highlighted the importance of safety regulations and the fact that stricter regulations and enforcements are necessary to protect Americans from foodborne illness and death. However, special interest has been working hard for the past year to ensure that three anti-regulatory bills, the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), the Regulatory Flexibility Improvement Act (RFIA), and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS) pass congress, which would allow corporations and special interest to push back on safety regulations, potentially letting even more unsafe food products slip past safety inspections. These three bills must be stopped in order to protect consumers from unsafe products and to protect our health.