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Originally published November 23, 2009 at 12:11 AM | Page modified November 23, 2009 at 1:01 AM

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Senate considers food-safety bill

The U.S. Senate is considering legislation that would plug holes in the food-safety system.

The U.S. Senate is considering legislation that would plug holes in the food-safety system by requiring better efforts by food producers and giving more power to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The bill, S. 510, is sponsored by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat.

Among the provisions:

• Increase the frequency of FDA inspections at all food facilities.

• Give the FDA authority to order mandatory recalls of contaminated foods.

• Deny entry to food from foreign facilities that have refused U.S. inspectors.

• Require food producers to conduct hazard analyses and take steps to prevent contamination.

The House passed similar legislation over the summer.

— Seattle Times staff reporter Maureen O'Hagan

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