FDA Proposes New Strengthened Rules for Imported Food Safety

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Over the past couple of years, there has been an increase in the number of food poisoning outbreaks in the United States linked to contaminated produce imported into the country.

Over the past couple of years, there has been an increase in the number of food poisoning outbreaks in the United States linked to contaminated produce imported into the country. The Food and Drug Administration recently unveiled plans to strengthen imported food safety.

It is estimated that as much as 15% of the total American food supply is imported from foreign countries. Approximately 50% of all fresh fruit consumed in this country and 20% of fresh vegetables are also sourced from foreign countries.

With the increase in amount of imported produce from foreign countries, there has also been an increase in the number of foodborne infections linked to for foreign produce. There have been foodborne outbreaks that have been linked to contaminated cattle, pomegranate seeds, and a number of other types of produce.

Over the summer, a hepatitis A outbreak across the country hospitalized 153 Americans. The outbreak was finally linked to frozen pomegranate seeds that had been imported into this country from Turkey. Also over the summer, there was the epidemic of cyclosporiasis that was ultimately linked to contaminated lettuce imported from Mexico. This outbreak, a parasite infection that results severe diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems, sickened 642.

The Food and Drug Administration is currently the process of conducting a public meeting in Washington DC that focuses on two programs that the agency has proposed to strengthen the new rules. Under the new rules, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program would hold companies that are importing foods liable for tracking and evaluating the safety of the food that they bring into this country. Under the second rule, the Accredited Third-Party Audits and Certification Program would accredit inspectors in other countries, who would be given the task of inspecting farms that export produce into this country.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 131 Stony Circle Suite 500 Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (707) 595-8684

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