State Officials Approve Rule Aimed at Food Safety

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas health officials have approved a measure that removes the cost of testing imported foods suspected of contamination from the state and puts it on food distributors and retailers.  Health Dept. spokeswoman Ann Wright says the change was made to give the Health Dept. greater ability to ensure that imported food sold in Arkansas is safe to eat.

The state Board of Health gave tentative approval to the rule this summer after a scare over tainted fish.  Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi banned imports of Chinese catfish after antibiotics were found in the animal.  And in Arkansas, health officials discovered an anti-fungal agent in one batch of fish and health officials banned its sale in the state.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)