The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has come to terms with new rules for food safety, which will apply to produce farms and importable goods. This measure was taken amid all the outbreaks of food-related illnesses that have been occurring across the U.S. in recent years.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that each year, 48 million people in America suffer from this type of illnesses. Out of that sum, 3000 patients die because of them.
“The recent multistate outbreak of Salmonella in imported cucumbers that has killed four Americans, hospitalized 157 and sickened hundreds more, is exactly the kind of outbreak these rules can help prevent,” said Michael R. Taylor, a member of the FDA, also assuring that the regulations will give customers more confidence that the goods they are consuming are meeting the proper safety standards.
The new set of rules goes by the Food Safety Modernization Act, which makes importers responsible for meeting U.S. food safety standards and settles the requirements for the production of goods. The guidelines are meant, as Taylor pointed out, to prevent foodborne illnesses.
Additionally, the guidelines stipulate the intervention of third parties who are to review foreign food facilities.
As it is a preventive measure, the FDA stated that these rules will help prevent an issue before it actually happens. The new regulation system prioritizes that companies adopt current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) and establish preventive measures, rather than retiring products from the market after finding out the product is damaging.
This major change might be the reason why spokespeople from the FDA refer to the new rules as “the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years.”
To help food industries with the implementation of the new preventive standards, the FDA created the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance, a partnership between different institutions, such as state and federal agencies, industries and universities.
Source: International Business Times