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
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.