FDA Seeks to Prevent Foodborne Illness Before It Starts
Foodborne illness is a threat that should be taken seriously, and the Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to do just that. Although the past has seen the organization taking more of a reactionary approach that found them initiating investigations into issues after outbreaks have already spread, the recently past Food Safety and Modernization Act increased the agency’s power, giving it the ability to use tactics that are meant to be more preventative in nature. The measure they proposed in January would thus hopefully cut down on the estimated 3,000 fatalities and 130,000 hospitalizations which stem from foodborne illness on an annual basis.
Among the rules that the FDA hopes could go a long way toward keeping Americans safe: stricter regulations on the production and distribution stage of the food-making process. Produce providers, for example, would have to meet additional requirements in order to receive the go-ahead to continue to distribute fresh produce.
The FDA is also in the process of drafting rules that would apply to food that comes to America from abroad. By developing standards that must be met and training overseas food exporters on the proper procedures that can assure food safety, products that make their way to the United States would hopefully be safer to eat.
You’re also starting to see the gluten-free moniker applied more freely among products. The FDA has proposed a rule that would place benchmarks that must be met for an item to call itself gluten-free.