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NEW YORK (WCBS 880 / AP) - A sure sign of summer is a nice juicy hamburger being cooked on the grill.
But, before you put the ketchup on, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants to make sure it’s safe.
She is pushing a bill that would test meat for more pathogens and E. coli strains.
“Across New York, approximately 3.2 million people are infected with food-borne illnesses each year according to estimates based on the CDC data,” says Gillibrand.
“We need to crack down on all known contaminents. My bill does this. It targets pathogens that cause the vast majority of food-borne illnesses and all known strains of the pathogen E. coli.”
WCBS 880′s Catherine Cioffi With Sen. Gillibrand
The bill also includes a proposal to create a recall alert system to let customers know when an outbreak occurs.
“These are investments that we must make a priority if we are going to keep contaminated foods out of grocery stores, restaurants, and our own kitchen tables,” says Gillibrand.
Meanwhile, The European Union farm commissioner says he will offer more than $219 million in compensation to farmers hurt by the E. coli crisis.
The pledge by commissioner Dacian Ciolos came after Spain and France rejected his initial offer. Farmers have been unable to sell their vegetables as a result of the E. coli outbreak that has killed 24 people and infected over 2,400.
EU farmers say they are seeing losses of around $611 million a week.
The outbreak has been linked to Germany.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)