Ga. Senate panel considers food safety changes

ATLANTA (AP) -- State lawmakers are considering new food safety rules in Georgia, where a peanut plant has been linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds of people nationwide.

The Senate Agriculture Committee is to consider a bill Monday that would require food makers to alert state inspectors within a day if internal tests show a contaminant in a plant.

Those tests would be in addition to unannounced state and federal inspections.

The proposal is a response to the salmonella outbreak linked to a Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Ga. Investigators say the company knowingly shipped salmonella-laced products after tests showed they were contaminated.

Food safety experts, government groups and industry lobbies say they don't know of any states with similar requirements.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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