State Dept. of Agriculture to phase out food safety testing program

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A federally funded program that helped state agriculture officials test produce for E.coli and salmonella, among other things, is going away, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Congress decided to stop funding the USDA Microbiological Data Program in 2013, so the program will be phased out by Dec. 31.

A spokesman with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said the state received $280,000 from the government to fund salaries and lab operations.

The federal program had annual budget of about $4.5 million and was in 10 other states besides Minnesota.

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