Bob Sandelman, CEO of a research company that did a survey on whether people would return to Taco Bell restaurants after an E. coli outbreak sickened over 70 people in the northeast, says, "It’s still a raw issue because it’s still in the news."
But he adds that consumer concerns will fade over time, or even disappear, once the cause of the outbreak is pinpointed.
In Congress, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who will chair the agriculture subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, intends to hold her first hearing on food-safety issues. She hopes to haul in Taco Bell executives, along with other industry figures.
One of her priorities will be to reintroduce legislation she co-sponsored with Illinois Senator Dick Durbin to create a single food-safety agency. Different agencies, she pointed out, regulate Taco Bell’s products. The Food and Drug Administration oversees produce while the Agriculture Department is supposed to monitor the meat and cheese.