FDA Revises Food Recall and Food Safety Regulations

FDA Proposals to Improve Food Safety and Food Recall Procedures

safety regulationsAfter extensive public outreach for comments, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed revisions to its Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), to help improve food safety regulations and food recall procedures.

FSMA was originally signed into law in 2011, and included four proposed updates to laws involving produce safety, preventative controls for human food, as well as animal food, and a foreign supplier verification program.

The FDA reached out to the public for comment after the act was signed into law, and now has some proposed changes for the law, including water quality testing provisions, which would account for natural variation in water sources; the FDA also suggests changes in the approach to manure and compost for crop production.

Suggested changes also included changes to how the produce safety regulations are applied, allowing farms with $25,000 or less in produce sales to exempt themselves from those safety regulations.

“Based on valuable input from farmers, consumers, the food-industry and academic experts, the FDA is proposing to update these four proposed rules to ensure a more flexible and targeted means to ensure food safety,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods.

“The FDA believes these updated proposed rules will lead to a modern, science-based food safety system that will better protect American consumers from potentially hazardous food,” FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg said.

Another suggested food safety change would allow importers more flexibility in determining supplier verification measures based on previous experience with a supplier.

The FSMA was the first major change to food safety and food recall in decades.

Food Recalls Due to Foreign Particles Becoming More Common

Although numerous food recalls have been issued over the years for microbial contamination – including such infamous incidents as the fungal contamination of Chobani yogurts, and the ongoing, deadly salmonella outbreak that originated with Foster Farms – more manufacturers are issuing food recalls due to foreign matter in their products, such as plastic, glass, or metal pieces.

One such food recall involved chicken nuggets, manufactured by Tyson. The food recall   for more than 75,000 pounds of frozen, white meat chicken nuggets sold at Sam’s Clubs across the country after consumers reported finding pieces of plastic. Consumers who encountered the plastic pieces reported minor oral injuries, but there were no severe injuries or deaths associated with the plastic pieces.

Another serious food recall was issued by Pedigree, for some of their popular dog food products. The company expanded the dog food recall at the end of August, due to reports of metal fragments in the food. Pedigree reported that the dog food should not have been released for sale, as it was being held in a warehouse, but may have been sold by accident.

Every year, thousands of consumers sustain serious injuries from defective products, and improper or delayed product recalls. Many of these injuries could be avoided if the manufacturers or distributors of these products took additional steps to ensure consumer safety, such as issuing product recalls in a timely fashion.

The Strom Law Firm Protects Citizens Harmed by Delayed Product or Food Recalls

The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm aim to protect our clients’ health and safety, and hold manufacturers to the highest possible standard of safety. Product recalls are especially important because defective drugs, medical devices, food, and toys can seriously injure or even kill consumers. If you or a loved one have experienced severe, life-limiting side effects from a defective food, product or drug, and believe that your pain stems from a product, drug, or food recall that came too late, you may be entitled to compensation. The Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today. 803.252.4800

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