gears up for food safety rule revision
By Jane Byrne, 13-Nov-2008
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/FDA-gears-up-for-food-safety-rule-revision
The US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) said it will bring current federal food processing
safety rules up to date in an effort to provide additional protection against
The regulator claims a
survey involving 2,700 US
food processing facilities of a range of different sizes will be the first
stage in a process aimed at revising the existing good manufacturing practices
(GMPs) that govern the safe processing, packaging
and storage of food in the US.
The current GMPs were drawn up in 1986 and no longer reflect
developments in science and technology, claims the
The agency said its
survey of processing plants will seek information about five key issues
relevant to the GMP modernization effort including employee training,
sanitation and personal hygiene, allergen controls, process controls, and
According to the FDA,
responses will be kept confidential and will only be used for statistical
Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the US Consumer Reports National Research Center claims consumers are concerned about food
safety and they want the government to inspect the food supply more
according to the report, stated that the FDA
should conduct visits of foreign and domestic food processing plants at least
every month. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) must inspect meat plants
daily; however, the FDA has no such requirement for food processing plants.
The survey comes in
the wake of a number of high profile food recalls and scares in the US related to
fresh produce as well as beef, and it also follows the recent melamine scare
linked to Chinese milk products.
of the respondents are concerned with harmful bacteria or chemicals in food
and 81 per cent are concerned with the safety of imported food, according to
the survey's findings.
The Center said that 95 per cent of those surveyed said that
processed or packaged food should be labelled by their country of origin and
that country of origin labelling for products should always be available at
point of purchase.
Nearly three quarters
of the consumers polled believe that cloning of food animals should be
prohibited while 60 per cent are concerned about meat or milk products from
cloned or genetically
engineered (GE) animals, with the majority calling for GE food,
meat and dairy products to be labelled as such, stated the survey.
In addition, more than
two-thirds of the respondents are concerned about the safety of meat treated
with carbon monoxide to preserve red colour, with 93 per cent agreeing that
the packaging should clearly state if meat has been treated using this
method, according to the poll.
The report stated that
90 per cent of those polled agreed that meat that contains any irradiated
components should be labelled as such; the USDA
is currently considering the exemption of irradiated whole carcasses from