WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The FDA is warning the cantaloupe industry after two major outbreaks in two years.
Contaminated cantaloupe caused 36 deaths and sickened more than 400 people nationwide. Now, a Central Florida teen is in Washington advocating for safer food.
"It is a miracle I am here today," says Dana Dziadul who nearly died after eating cantaloupe tainted with salmonella when she was 3 years old.
Now at 15, she's an advocate testifying in Washington for food safety.
"I want to make sure people don't get sick like I did."
This week, the Food and Drug Administration notified cantaloupe growers and packers. The federal agency will step up inspections this season to avoid a repeat of the last two years.
Two major outbreaks were traced to fresh cantaloupes. The FDA says keeping cantaloupes free from listeria, salmonella and other food-bourne illnesses is a top priority.
If during inspections any red flags are raised, the FDA now has the strengthened authority to take action. It's change Dziadul helped bring about.
"All because I ate canteloupe."
The increased scrutiny is a part of the food safety modernization act. It's the biggest food safety overhaul in more than 70 years.
The FDA can now force mandatory recalls to remove the contaminated fruit from the market.
The food safety modernization act was signed into law in 2011, but the new regulations are still months away from being implemented.