WASHINGTON, D.C. — “Team Diarrhea” could be rushing to the rescue in a town near you if Sen. Amy Klobuchar has anything to say about it.
The Minnesota Democrat introduced legislation today that will push a more rapid and coordinated response to outbreaks of food-borne illness, including the possible institution of a nationwide “Team Diarrhea,” otherwise known as Team D, which is a group of investigators that race into action when there are suspected cases of food-borne illness.
Minnesota currently has its own Team D, which was the first in the country to trace sources of the two most recent nationwide salmonella outbreaks that ultimately claimed three lives in Minnesota, according to Klobuchar’s office.
“When people get sick or die from contaminated food, it means our government has failed in this duty,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “By strengthening our nation’s food safety system, we can save both lives and money.”
The legislation specifically uses Minnesota’s response to the outbreak as an example for a national model. It also directs the Centers for Disease Control to improve the collection, analysis reporting and usefulness of data among local, state, and federal agencies as well as the food industry and establishes regional “Food Safety Centers for Excellence.”
“The nation should not have to wait until someone in Minnesota gets sick or dies before there is an effective national response to a large-scale outbreak of food-borne illness,” she said.