Obama administration takes action on food safety

Source of Article:  http://members.ift.org/IFT/Pubs/Newsletters/weekly/nl_070809.htm

According to Reuters, on July 7 the Obama administration ordered tougher steps to curb Salmonella and E. coli contamination in U.S. food processing plants. The actions were based on recommendations from a Food Safety Working Group (FSWG) created by President Barack Obama in March after the Salmonella outbreak in peanut products.

Under the new rules:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will help the food industry establish better tracing systems to track the origins of a bacterial outbreak.
  • A new network will be established to help the many agencies that regulate food safety to communicate better.
  • Egg and poultry producers will have to follow new standards designed to reduce Salmonella contamination.
  • The Food Safety Inspection Service, the Agriculture Department agency that inspects meat, will increase sampling of ground beef ingredients in an effort to better find E. coli contamination.
  • The FDA will recommend ways that producers of leafy greens, melons, and tomatoes can reduce disease strains, and require stricter standards in those industries within two years.

In response to the working group recommendations, the administration created a new position— Deputy Commissioner for Foods—at the FDA to increase coordination of food safety activities in different parts of the federal government.

Reuters article

White House release

FSWG Fact Sheet (pdf)



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