Can Cold Cuts Kill?

The processed-meat industry is patting itself on the back for getting the Bush Administration to water down a new plan aimed at keeping a deadly bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes, out of deli meats. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman pledged to step up testing after last summer's outbreak of listeriosis--seven deaths, three miscarriages and dozens of hospitalizations--was traced to tainted turkey from a processor near Philadelphia. Veneman came up with a blueprint directing federal inspectors to hunt down Listeria on the equipment, surfaces and drains of every major producer of ready-to-eat meat and poultry. (Though the USDA selectively inspected processed meat for Listeria, it...

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