USDA Begins Cutting 80 Percent of Pathogen Testing for Produce

"After months of uncertainty over the future of the program, the Agricultural Marketing Service's Microbiological Data Program, which tests produce for disease-causing pathogens like E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Listeria, has officially gone into shutdown mode, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official confirmed Tuesday."

"Department officials told states that participate in the $4.5 million program to stop pulling produce samples on Friday to 'ensure an orderly shutdown of the program by December 31.'

According to an analysis by Food Safety News, ending MDP will eliminate more than 80 percent of public produce testing for pathogens. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has jurisdiction over the safety of produce, also has a produce testing program, but it is significantly smaller."

Helena Bottemiller reports for Food Safety News November 13, 2012.


"End of U.S. Produce Tests for Pathogens Angers Advocates" (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Source: Food Safety News, 11/14/2012