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Investigator: FDA still taking months to recall tainted food

WASHINGTON – Government investigators say the Food and Drug Administration failed to force a recall of peanut butter and almond products for three months after advanced DNA testing confirmed salmonella contamination.

The Health and Human Services inspector general’s office says the FDA has allowed some food safety investigations to drag on, leaving consumers at risk. Such delays come despite new legal powers to force recalls and sophisticated technology to fingerprint pathogens.

The FDA’s top food safety official says the cases singled out by investigators are outliers — a selective sample in which recalls didn’t proceed quickly and efficiently in a matter of days.

Still, Deputy Commissioner Stephen Ostroff says food safety officials will now review slow-moving cases on a weekly basis.