A Senate committee voted unanimously yesterday to increase government oversight of food safety but the first significant overhaul in 50 years may not happen until 2010.


Pressure to overhaul the system has grown following several high-profile outbreaks involving lettuce, peppers, peanuts and spinach since 2006 that have sickened thousands and killed several.


However, the full Senate probably won’t vote on the bill until 2010 as Congress is currently mired in debate about overhauling the health care system, said Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.