Senate to hold staff briefing on food safety bill Thursday

The Senate has reached a tentative agreement on food-safety legislation and will brief staffers Thursday, a Senate staffer said, although it's still unclear how the bill might move forward. The panel is also scheduled to post the manager's package and a Congressional Budget Office score, another source said.

Food safety advocates immediately applauded the news.

"It's a clear signal that this is going to happen when they come back in September," said Sandra Eskin, director of the Pew Health Group's Food Safety Campaign.

The Senate bill, introduced by Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), cleared the Senate health panel late last year on a 16-0 vote.

The House passed its own version of food safety legislation in July 2009.