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Highlights

GAO discussed the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) efforts to ensure the safety of imported cheese. GAO noted that: (1) 84 deaths and 150 illnesses were related to bacterial contamination in imported soft cheeses; (2) FDA instituted testing requirements for imported soft cheeses; (3) French testing of imported cheese reduces listeria contamination but data on the testing's effectiveness are unavailable; (4) the 3 percent FDA imported cheese sampling rate may not provide adequate coverage; and (5) increased legal authority and greater resources would provide better control and prevent contaminated products from entering the United States.

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