Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Ever Wonder what the Recently Enacted Food Law Means for Us?

 

Over the past few years, several high-profile outbreaks related to various foods, from spinach and peanut products to eggs, have underscored the need to make continuous improvements in food safety.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) which President Obama recently signed into law gives the FDA a mandate to pursue a system that is based on science and addresses hazards from farm to table, putting greater emphasis on preventing food-borne illness.

If you are like me, you may have wondered what some of the provisions are and how they will affect consumers. Well I decided to do some research and wanted to share with you some of the major provisions of the law below:

•Issuing recalls: In the past, the FDA had to rely on food manufacturers and distributors to recall food voluntarily. Now the FDA will have the authority to order a recall of food products.

•Conducting inspections: There will be more frequent inspections of foods and facilities that pose a greater risk to food safety.

•Importing food: Better enforcement of FDA’s ability to oversee food produced in foreign countries and imported into the United States. Also, FDA has the authority to prevent food from entering this country if the facility has refused U.S. inspection.

•Preventing problems: All Food facilities must have a written plan that spells out the possible problems that could affect the safety of their products. The plan would outline steps that the facility would take to help prevent those problems from occurring.

•Focusing on science and risk: The law establishes science-based standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables. This is an important step forward. These standards will consider both natural and man-made risks to the safety of fresh produce.

•Respecting the role of small businesses and farms: The law also provides some flexibility, such as exemptions from the produce safety standards for small farms that sell directly to consumers at a roadside stand or farmer’s market as well as through a community supported agriculture program (CSA).

Let’s all hope that this law will take the critical steps toward strengthening the food safety system that is vital to the health and security of all of us.

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Chef Lynn Ware

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