Meets with Henderson Resident and E. coli Survivor Rylee Gustafson
January 27, 2011
Rylee Gustafson thanks Nevada Senator Harry Reid for his work on the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Washington, D.C. —Nevada Senator Harry Reid today met with Rylee Gustafson, from Henderson, Nevada -- a survivor of the 2006 spinach E. coli outbreak. Rylee, an advocate for better food safety regulation, traveled to Washington D.C. to present Reid with a commemorative glass dinner plate honoring his work passing the Food Safety Modernization Act, which is an important piece of legislation to make all dinner plates safe.
“While we may tell our kids that spinach is good for them, this new law helps ensure that’s the truth,” said Reid. “What happened to Rylee shouldn’t happen to anyone. However, thanks in large part to her tireless advocacy on behalf of those affected by food-borne illnesses, dinner tables across Nevada and our country are safer.”
“I am so thankful that Senator Reid believes that food safety is important and that the food safety bill has finally passed,” said Rylee. “I hope the new law will prevent children like me from getting sick or dying from something they ate.”
“We are so thankful that Senator Reid is our senator and is committed to the idea that not only Nevadans but all people deserve safe food,” said Kathy Chrismer, Rylee’s mother.
When Rylee was 9, she ate a salad containing spinach infected with E. Coli and had to be hospitalized. The infection caused failure of her kidneys, swelling around her brain and heart, diabetes, and temporary deafness and blindness. During the last Congress Reid met with Rylee multiple times and worked to bring bipartisan food safety legislation to passage. The new bipartisan law better protects consumers from eating contaminated foods by enacting more targeted regulations on imported food and toughening the food-inspection requirements for mass food-producers. It also creates funding for an improved trace-back system so that when contamination is discovered, food can be recalled more quickly.