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The United States is often said to have a two-pronged food safety regulatory system, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsible for inspecting meat, poultry, and eggs, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the other fresh and processed foods that make up 80% of the food supply. This system leads to frequently cited inspection gaps and overlaps that critics say contribute to food safety problems: The FDA oversees fresh eggs, but the USDA inspects processed egg products;...
Features: The Food Safety Countdown
Long-awaited legislation to reform and modernize the nation’s food safety system will likely be put off until next year while the Senate continues to grapple with healthcare reform and other contentious issues.
Features: Lessons Learned From Recent Recalls
The recent massive recall of food products containing peanuts and other peanut ingredients distributed by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) offers several insights into steps the food industry can take to avoid future contaminations and recalls. The recall also highlights the fact that the industry must take responsibility for safeguarding our nation’s food supply, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently lacks the resources to do so.
Features: Food Fight
Among the myriad of issues being considered in Congress, few touch the lives of Americans as directly as food quality. So it should come as no surprise that impassioned debate surrounds some of the more than a dozen bills under consideration in the House and Senate to reform and modernize the nation’s food safety system. While everyone agrees that safer food is a laudable goal, there is far less consensus as to how, or even whether, it can be achieved.
Departments: Bye Bye Shoo Fly
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, there have been more than 20 food recalls to date caused by bacteria in 2008. To maintain consumer confidence, you must ensure sanitary conditions in your facility, and flies are a definite no-no.
Features: Beefing Up the FDA
This summer federal lawmakers are hoping to enact two pieces of legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more authority and funding to better regulate the safety of domestic and imported foods.
Features: Food Safety in the Retail World
You could say everything old is new again when it comes to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and food security. In 2003, the FDA issued a set of five food and cosmetic security preventive measures guidance documents designed to help participants in virtually all sections of the food chain minimize the risk of malicious, criminal, or terrorist actions involving products under their control. Their target audience: operators of food and cosmetic establishments, along with businesses that produce,...
Features: Allergen Rules Nothing to Sneeze At
This is the second of a two part series. the first article, “Managing Allergen Labeling Challenges,” was published on p. 49 of the October/November issue.
Departments: Managing Allergen Labeling Challenges
The first article in this two-part series is focused on how enterprise business solutions can help food processors manage industry challenges around the current enacted regulations in the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. This FDA legislation addresses better management and disclosure of food allergens in the manufactured foods we eat every day. In addition to regulations that are in place today, such as requiring disclosure of food allergens on product labels by manufacturers, food...
Features: Think Like A Terrorist
The FDA cites incidents in other countries to highlight the importance of its watchdog role in food security. In 2002, a restaurant owner in China added chemicals to a competitor’s food, killing dozens of people and sending hundreds to the hospital. In another incident in 2002, three people were arrested in Jerusalem for allegedly planning a mass poisoning of patrons at a cafe. In January 2003, several people were arrested in London for plotting to add deadly ricin to the food supply on a British...