Wednesday, September 23, 2009

GAO: USDA Failed to Tell Schools About Food Recalls

The AP reported, "Federal authorities failed to tell schools about recalls of potentially tainted peanut products and canned vegetables, and cafeterias may have unknowingly served them to children, the Government Accountability Office reported Tuesday. A GAO investigation found the Agriculture Department didn't always make sure states and schools were notified promptly about recalled food distributed through the federal school lunch and breakfast programs, which serve 30 million students." According to the GAO, it took as much as a week for states to determine which products had been recalled, and schools could have served the suspect food in the meantime. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, in a written statement, said that the agency was working to develop a better food safety system; the US Food and Drug Administration also said it was moving to improve notification to schools.

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