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GAO Reports Schools Are Slow to Get Tainted Food Alerts


EMSL Analytical provides food testing solutions for schools, institutions and food processors.

Westmont, NJ, September 24th, 2009

A recent federal audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that federal agencies that supply food to over 30 million schoolchildren are not acting quickly enough to remove tainted food products. Any delay increases the risk of these children developing food poisoning from contaminated foods.

The report stated that food safety alerts sometimes took more than a week before schools were notified “during which time (schools) unknowingly served affected products.” The primary focus of the audit was on the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) arm of the Department of Agriculture. The FNS provides school systems with federally purchased food products that are used in school breakfast and lunch programs.

According to the report the FNS does not have appropriate systems in place to ensure that it is quickly notified about any food-safety related investigations by the Food and Drug Administration. In response, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, has acknowledged the report and stated that improved systems are under development to ensure the safety of school meals.

To assist in educating schools and the general public about food safety one of the nation’s largest food testing laboratories in the country, EMSL Analytical, recently made available a ‘Foodborne Illnesses’ poster. The free educational tool highlights and brings attention to a number of common food pathogens.

“Ensuring the safe production, distribution and consumption of all types of food products is essential for public safety,” stated Joe Frasca, Executive Vice President Marketing at EMSL Analytical. “Making sure our nation’s children are protected from food poisoning at home and in the school environment is something we hope our educational poster can assist in making happen,” he continued.

To learn more about food safety or other testing services please contact EMSL Analytical at (800) 220-3675, visit or, or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a leading, national provider of environmental, consumer products and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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