ATLANTA - The Georgia Senate unanimously passed a bill to toughen up the state's food safety laws in response to the deadly salmonella outbreak linked to a South Georgia peanut plant.
The legislation would require food makers to alert state inspectors within 24 hours if a plant's internal tests show its products are contaminated.
The measure passed the state Senate 50 to 0 on Wednesday. It now moves to the House.
The bill's sponsor, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman John Bulloch, said that if the bill had been in place it would have raised a red flag at the Peanut Corp. plant in Blakely, Ga.
Investigators say the Lynchburg, Va.-based company knowingly shipped salmonella-laced products even after internal tests showed they were contaminated.