Inspector General Finds Food Safety Lapses

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Friday, Mar 27, 2009 @08:26am CST


 (Washington, DC)  --  Six in ten American food suppliers fail to meet federal requirements to keep records on sources of food.
 That's according to the inspector general of the Health & Human Services Department, who testified on Capitol Hill.

   Daniel Levinson told a House subcommittee that 59 percent of producers, retailers, transporters, warehouses and other food handlers failed to keep required records.

   He said the lapses endanger the U.S. food supply, resulting in problems such as a recent salmonella outbreak that sickened 700 people.

   Daniels added that one-fourth of food handlers were not aware that federal regulations require them to keep records.
   He said the data come from a test that tracked 40 food products, including milk and fresh fruits and vegetables.

   Separately, two public advocacy groups are saying responsibility for food safety is too scattered throughout the government.
   They're urging the Obama administration to appoint a single official in the Food & Drug Administration to oversee food safety in the U.S.

   The Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation see that as just a first step.
   The groups would like to see an agency established within Health & Human Services to regulate the nation's food supply.




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