Is Our Food Safe?

Salmonella in peanut products.

E. Coli in beef.

Listeria in melon.

Food Safety

Are you hungry yet?

Food safety doesn’t usually get me too excited but I have an exciting piece of news to share with you.

The Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law by President Obama in 2011. This is pretty much the first major overhaul in the safety of our food system in 70 years.

This is old news. But earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two proposed rules designed to focus on preventing problems, rather than reacting to outbreaks. The FDA says that following the rules will prevent 1.75 million cases of foodborne illness a year and save more than $1 billion in costs.

See. I told you it was exciting!

The first rule would require worker safety training and monitoring the presence of animals in the field at  fruit and vegetable farms. The second rule would require food processors to develop and follow detailed plans for preventing contamination of their products.

Proposed Standards for Produce Safety

This rule focuses on prevention of fruit and vegetable contamination through:

  • Agricultural water
  • Biological soil amendments
  • Poor worker hygiene
  • Domesticated and wild animals
  • Equipment, tools and buildings.

Preventive Controls for Human Food

This rule says all food producers will need to develop, submit, and follow a written food safety plan that includes:

  • A hazard analysis
  • Preventive controls
  • Monitoring procedures
  • Corrective action procedures
  • Verification procedures
  • A recall plan.

If you want to learn more about the proposed rules, check out the FDA’s page.

These are currently proposed rules, meaning they are open for public comment until May 16th. To submit a comment, go to http://www.regulations.gov and refer to Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0920.

These proposed rules will take quite a while to implement so in the mean time, don’t forget to take food safety into your own hands and practice food safety at home.

Peace out,

Diana

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