The US FDA recently announced it would be making changes to the way it enforces the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011, an act meant to help ensure the safety of the food supply. The agency is calling the act the biggest food safety overhaul in 70 years. Estimates suggest that every year 48 million people get sick, 138,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from consuming contaminated food.
The FDA has recently come under fire for taking too long to remove contaminated food from shelves, prompting some of the biggest changes. Though food recalls are most often voluntary and it’s up to the individual companies and producers to issue the recall, the FDA plays a large part in monitoring food and aiding companies with the proper steps to take during a recall. Additionally, they alert the public to food recalls if the recall is deemed a serious health hazard.
Prior to FSMA, the FDA lacked the authority to issue mandatory food recalls, and has only used this power twice since. When reviewing the agency to determine whether they were fulfilling their responsibility “in safeguarding the nation’s food supply,” investigators looked at 30 food recalls from 2012 to 2015. Investigators ultimately found the FDA to not have an “efficient and effective food-recall process,” as it took companies and average of 57 days to issue a recall.
The reviewers cited lack of policies and procedures that kept the FDA from taking fast action once they were made aware of a contamination issue. FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb agreed that immediate action “to address unsafe foods” need to be taken to ensure consumer protection.
The new guidance aims to work closer with food producers and farmers to improve food safety. Additionally, the FDA hopes to work closer with stakeholders and other partners to ensure each understands their role and what is required of them regarding FSMA and additional trainings, assistance, documents, etc.
To read the official FDA statement, click here.
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- FDA GMP Consumer Products Laboratory needed for lead residue testing in brass food bowls (that have been manufactured in India)
- Food importer needs USA food laboratory for tea testing compliant to FDA standards in addition to filing any paperwork
- FDA compliant Food Microbiology Laboratory needed for salmonella testing for testing for tahini
- LONG-TERM TESTING Food Laboratory needed for shelf-life stability testing for cooked meals in vacuum-sealed glass jars including pH, water activity, mold, aerobic plate count, listeria, salmonella, e-coli,staph.aureus
- Bakery needs Food Laboratory for nutritional analysis to develop the nutrient labels for baked goods such as cakes
- LONG-TERM TESTING Large hospitality company needs food microbiology laboratory laboratory for monthly environmental monitoring microbial analysis of food sample, hand swab, water, and equipment
- Food Microbiology Laboratory needed for seafood testing: HAACP analysis for Clostridium botulinum in dried fish.
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View these test requests and more on our website!