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KARE-TV News in Minneapolis reports that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) “is co-sponsoring legislation that would create four or five centers of excellence around the country to investigate suspected food safety problems, like salmonella and E. coli.

“The centers would be modeled after Minnesota, which requires doctors to report all suspected cases of food-borne illness to the state Department of Health. Each confirmed case is quickly investigated by University of Minnesota graduate students, who are known as ‘Team Diarrhea’ or ‘Team D.‘ They call the patients and ask a series of questions about their symptoms and the food eaten before getting sick ... Their investigative work last year helped solve a major peanut butter salmonella outbreak, which killed nine people nationwide, including three from Minnesota.

“When cases first arrived in Minnesota, Team D immediately started investigating and noticed all of the cases had one thing in common: peanut butter. They also noticed cases were popping up in long- term care facilities, so the Minnesota Department of Agriculture started looking at invoices to trace the source of the peanut butter. The evidence pointed to King Nut peanut butter, produced by Peanut Corporation of America in Georgia. Investigators tested a large tub of the product and found salmonella.”
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