Published Online: September 29, 2009
Published in Print: September 30, 2009, as GAO Faults Agencies On Food-Safety Alerts

News in Brief

GAO Faults Agencies on Food-Safety Alerts

Federal authorities failed to tell schools about recalls of potentially tainted foods, and cafeterias may have unknowingly served them to children, the Government Accountability Office reported last week.

The congressional investigatory agency found that the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t always make sure states and schools were notified promptly about recalled food distributed through the federal school lunch and breakfast programs. It took as long as a week for states to figure out which products were recalled, the GAO says, and schools may have served the suspect food to children during that time.

In a written response, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said that safety is of utmost importance and that his department is working to build a better food-safety system. The Food and Drug Administration said it, too, was taking steps to ensure schools will be notified.

Vol. 29, Issue 05, Page 4

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