SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter) is urging retailers to step up to the plate as consumers' last line of defense.



Florez will hold a news conference Wednesday morning in Sacramento to introduce legislation to prevent recalled items from getting past check-out and into consumers' kitchens, with a little help from existing technology.



Senate Bill 550 will require grocery stores which use programmable check-outs scanners to program them to notify the employee and customer when a recalled product is scanned. The latest major recall involving peanut butter tainted with salmonella -- impacting items from snacks, to dog food to diet products -- demonstrated the challenges a widespread outbreak presents in identifying which products are or are not impacted. There is no fail-proof way to ensure all recalled products which have already been shelved are identified and pulled, other than to have those items trigger an alert when scanned at check-out.



"Once an item has made it out of the plant, off the truck and onto the shelves and is recalled, it is unreasonable to think an individual stocker can go through every shelf and identify every item that could pose a threat," Florez said. "Grocers have the tools at their disposal to give consumers the final line of defense they need and expect."



Florez will chair a hearing of the Senate Food and Agriculture Committee on the recent salmonella outbreak, including testimony from the grocery industry on their response to the crisis, Thursday at 10 a.m.



Florez will be joined for Wednesday's announcement by Consumers Union, Older Women's League, CALPIRG and other advocates for consumer safety.



SOURCE: Office of Senator Dean Florez via PR Newswire.