FDA food protection plan

Source of Article:  http://www.reporternews.com/news/2008/jul/26/fda-food-protection-plan/

In November 2007, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services unveiled its plans to strengthen and update the U.S. food safety system. In order to make many of the necessary changes, the plan stresses the need to realign roles and responsibilities within the agency and for legislative action.

For instance, the Food & Drug Administration is seeking legislative changes that will allow the agency to require food facilities to renew their FDA registrations every 2 years, which the agency argues will allow for superior prevention.

Also, among other recommended changes, FDA is urging Congress to empower the agency to issue mandatory recalls of contaminated products when voluntary recalls fall short.

The Food Protection Plan was developed in conjunction with the broader U.S. Import Safety Action Plan that focuses on how the U.S. can improve the safety of all imported products.

The Food Protection Plan focuses FDA's efforts on three areas:

n Prevention -- FDA will boost efforts to prevent food from becoming contaminated via a 3-pronged approach of: 1) promoting increased corporate responsibility to prevent food-borne illnesses; 2) identifying food vulnerabilities and assessing risks; and 3) expanding the understanding and use of proven mitigation strategies.

n Intervention -- FDA will intervene at critical points in the food supply chain from production to consumption. Inspections will be based on risk assessments and enhanced risk-based surveillance.

n Response -- FDA intends to improve both the agency's immediate response to a food-borne illness outbreak, and its risk communication with the U.S. public, industry and other interested parties.

Sources: FDA, Trust For America's Health



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