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Gov't to speed tracking of E. coli in meat

The government plans to speed up the process for tracking E. coli in meat, a move that will help authorities more quickly find the source of bacteria outbreaks and hasten food recalls.

The new Agriculture Department program announced Wednesday would begin tracing the source of potentially contaminated ground beef as soon as there is an initial positive test.

Current procedures require USDA officials to wait until additional testing confirms E. coli before starting their investigation. Under the new process, government officials could trace the source of E. coli 24 to 48 hours sooner.

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