FDA takes first steps to modernize food-safety regulations under new law

Courtesy of fda.gov
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made progress this week in modernizing  food-safety regulations to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses.

The FDA finalized the first two out of seven major rules under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). These two rules, known as preventive-controls rules, focus on implementing modern food manufacturing processes for both human and animal foods. The rules require human and animal food facilities to develop and implement written food-safety plans that indicate the possible problems that could affect the safety of their products and outline steps the facility would take to prevent or significantly minimize the likelihood of those problems occurring.

Under the FDA's overall modernization plan, imported food now will be held to the same food-safety standards as domestic food. This will help create an integrated food safety system that will be a collaboration between state and local authorities.

“Today’s announcement sets us on the path to a modern food safety system that will prevent illnesses and continue to build confidence in the safety of the food served to our families every day,” Dr. Stephen Ostroff, acting FDA commissioner, said.

“We’ve been working with states, food companies, farmers and consumers to create smart, practical and meaningful rules, and we have made a firm commitment to provide guidance, technical assistance and training to advance a food safety culture that puts prevention first,” Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, said.

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