During the July 30 congressional hearing on the handling of the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak, former FFVA chairman Tony DiMare testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture about the stringent safety procedures, third-party audits and other measures Florida tomato producers incorporate, according to the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Maitland.

DiMare asked government officials to remove all Florida tomatoes from the list of possible causes of illness.

On July 31, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing, during which Reggie Brown, executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange, Maitland, and Ed Beckman, president of California Tomato Farmers, Fresno, Calif., expressed their support for nationwide food safety legislation modeled after programs in their respective states, according to the FFVA.

Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Palm Beach Gardens) has introduced a bill to compensate tomato growers and packers for the $100 million in losses they incurred by tomatoes being implicated as a cause of the outbreak.