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- FOOD MASTER
FDA institutes two new regulations under FSMA
The first rule strengthens FDA’s ability to prevent potentially unsafe food from entering commerce. It gives the FDA administrative power to detain food the agency believes has been produced under unsanitary or unsafe conditions. Previously, FDA’s ability to detain food products applied only when it had credible evidence a food product was contaminated or mislabeled in a way that presented a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.
Beginning in July, FDA will be able to detain food products it has reason to believe are adulterated or misbranded for up to 30 days, if needed, to ensure they are kept out of the marketplace. The products will be quarantined while the agency determines whether an enforcement action such as seizure or federal injunction against distribution of the product in commerce is necessary.
Before this new rule, FDA would often work with state agencies to embargo a food product under the state’s legal authority until enforcement action could be initiated in federal court. In keeping with other provisions in FSMA, FDA will continue to work with state agencies on food safety and build stronger ties with those agencies.
The second rule requires anyone importing food into the
This new requirement will provide the agency with more information about foods that are being imported, which improves FDA’s ability to target foods that may pose a significant risk to public health.
This new reporting requirement will be administered through FDA’s prior notice system for incoming shipments of imported food established under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.With prior notice, in the event of a credible threat for a specific product or a specific manufacturer or processor, FDA is able to mobilize and assist in the detention and removal of products that may pose a serious health threat to humans or animals.
New food safety bill adopted by Senate
“Food safety received considerable attention last year, and I was pleased that Congress finally passed comprehensive food safety reforms,” says Leahy. “But our work is not done. On behalf of the hundreds of individuals sickened by recent salmonella outbreaks, I urge the House to quickly pass the Food Safety Accountability Act (FSSA) and join the Senate in continuing to improve our food safety system.”
FSSA will increase penalties for any individual or corporation that knowingly endangers American lives by distributing misbranded or tainted food products. The legislation will increase the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony, establishing fines and giving law enforcement the ability to seek prison sentences of up to 10 years for such offenses. The bill has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.Leahy had sought to include the criminal penalties bill in the broader FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which was passed earlier this year.
Higher gas prices sensitize consumers to food prices
During the same time period, 50 percent of consumers believe packaged foods have gotten smaller, and 32 percent believe the same thing has happened with restaurant portions. The two main reasons why consumers think package and/or portion sizes have decreased are the desires of food and restaurant companies to enhance profitability and to keep retail prices the same when costs rise. Only 10 percent attribute the downsizing to improving the products’ healthfulness.
Bob Goldin, Technomic executive vice president, believes the rapid rise in gas prices has raised consumer sensitivity to price increases in grocery stores and restaurants. “Consumers are deeply concerned about the price of gas, which they expect to continue to rise. As a result, they are very likely to reduce their spending on groceries and restaurant meals and increase their reliance on coupons and deals.”
Goldin also notes that consumers have become more aware of total value, of which package/proportion size is a key component, and urges food and restaurant companies to be sensitive to the risks of downsizing.For more information on the consumer sentiment survey, contact Bob Goldin, 312-506-3936, or visit the Technomic website.
Sustainability in the dairy industry
The symposium is designed to help members of the dairy industry and related businesses to better understand sustainability and target ways to decrease their carbon footprint and increase efficiency.
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