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FDA Requests New Food Safety Rules

11:07 AM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
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Food and drug administration has proposed new food safety rules that should significantly reduce the number of foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S.

The new rules require manufacturers of food sold in the united states -- both domestic and foreign -- to have a written plan that identifies safety hazards and how they can be prevented. they also need to prove the plan is being implemented.

Produce farmers will have to ensure the water and soil they use are clean, and that measures are taken to prevent animals from entering the fields. basic hygiene practices -- like handwashing -- will be taught to workers.

Foodborne illnesses tied to listeria, e-coli and salmonella cause an estimated three thousand deaths each year.

The new rules are subject to public comment for the next one-hundred twenty days. once they are final, farmers will have two years to get on board.

The standards for analyzing and documenting hazards were due last july, and the standards for safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables were due last january. critics have charged fda with dragging its feet in implementing the requirements of the new law. last august, the center for food safety sued the fda for missing several deadlines set under the law.

Within the next few months, fda hopes to issue a proposed rule on preventative controls for animal feed as well as proposed regulations related to importer accountability for food safety.

The FDA is also setting requirements for the safe transport of food, and to set standards for trying to prevent intentional contamination of food apply to domestic and international

Preventive controls -- food facilities to have a written plan to identify hazards, put steps in place, verify they are working and outline any problems that may arise.

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