WASHINGTON (AP) - From tainted peanut butter to deadly spinach and pet food, incidents of contamination have raised questions not only about the U.S. food supply but the government's efforts to keep it safe.
The Food and Drug Administration's oversight of what Americans eat is the larger focus of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing scheduled for Tuesday.
Witnesses were to include officials from food manufacturers and distributors involved in recent recalls of tainted products.
The safety of food raised domestically was questioned anew last fall when officials traced a nationwide E. coli outbreak to contaminated spinach processed by Natural Selections LLC. Three people died and nearly 200 others were sickened.
The popular Peter Pan brand of peanut butter drew a nationwide recall in February after a salmonella outbreak. More than 400 people were made ill, and the recall cost manufacturer ConAgra Foods Inc. between $50 million and $60 million.
Non-human food has had its own problems. In March, Menu Foods recalled 60 million cans of dog and cat food after the deaths of 16 pets, mostly cats, that had eaten products contaminated with the chemical melamine.