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Food safety measure with Perham roots becomes federal law

A food safety proposal with Minnesota roots is federal law.

President Barack Obama signed a measure last week that will increase federal officials' ability to ensure a safe food supply.

"The first responsibility of government is to protect its citizens," said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a primary sponsor of the legislation. "Ensuring a rapid response to outbreaks of contaminated food is critical to maintaining public trust in our food supply. This law will make necessary changes to help keep consumers safe and improve the security of our food supply."

Three Minnesota deaths, including ones in Perham and Brainerd, were attributed to a 2008 incident in which a deadly organism found its way into peanut butter made in a Georgia plant.

Minnesota state health and agriculture investigators found the link between deaths and the peanut butter, which caused at least nine deaths in the country.

Editor's note: The print edition and previous online edition of this article stated that Shirley Almer died in a Perham nursing home. This is not correct.