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  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
    IntroducedSeptember 12th, 2013

What is it?

S.1502  — Safe Meat and Poultry Act of 2013 — aims to improve the federal government’s oversight of food safety.

The bill establishes a “pathogen reduction performance standard,” or a series of steps to reign in food contamination. Distributors and processors of meat/poultry/egg products would be required to date and label their products at all stages of production. This labeling requirement is part of a larger goal to trace foodborne illness when there is an outbreak. 

The Department of Agriculture would also be mandated to publish information on the list of most common pathogens contributing to foodborne illnesses.

Any individual or company that fails to comply with this bill's requirements could face a penalty of $10,000 for each offense. Those convicted of misbranding eggs/meat products could face criminal penalties, imprisonment, and a $25,000 fine. For all those whistleblowers out there in the meat and poultry business, S.1502 also has built in protections for those who speak up against offenders. 


People who eat meat/poultry/egg products, slaughterhouses, meat processing and distribution establishments, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Agriculture, foreign companies that export meat and poultry into the U.S.


A CBO cost estimate is unavailable. However, according to the bill text, S. 1502's implementation would not be allowed to spend more than what money is already allocated to the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

More Information

Of Note: 

Sponsoring Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand claims that roughly 128,000 people are e hospitalized every year because of a foodborne illness. She also cites from the CDC that every year, one in every six Americans will suffer from a foodborne illness each year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Three organizations lobbied on S.1502 including the Center of Science for Public Interest, Food and Water Watch, and the Advanced Biofuel Association.


(Photo Credit: Flickr user USDAgov )


Safe Meat and Poultry Act of 2013

Official Title

A bill to require the Secretary of Agriculture to protect against foodborne illnesses, provide enhanced notification of recalled meat, poultry, eggs, and related food products, and for other purposes.

    You can't prevent the development of germs, they can develop in food while the food sits in the store waiting to be bought!
    Very good idea, the public needs all of the help with respect to stopping unscrupulous vendors from taking advantage of the public especially the poor and also unsuspecting members of protected classes.