FDA Says New Rules Will Improve Food Safety
Agency issues two, with more on the way
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2013 3:43 PM CST
This 2011 file photo shows cantaloupes rotting in the afternoon heat on a field near Holly, Colo.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

(Newser) – The FDA has issued two new rules that it and food safety advocates say will make the nation's food supply much safer. They govern the handling of processed foods (like peanut butter) and fruits and vegetables, reports USA Today, which calls this "the most sweeping overhaul of food safety in 70 years." That's the general tone of coverage, with the New York Times saying the rules "represent a sea change" in how the agency operates and the AP describing them as "the most sweeping in decades." But the rules themselves seem a little ... basic, with an emphasis on hygiene, clean working areas, and better record-keeping:

  • Food processing: "The first rule would require manufacturers of processed foods sold in the United States to identify, adopt and carry out measures to reduce the risk of contamination," says the Times. "Food companies also would be required to have a plan for correcting any problems that might arise and for keeping records that FDA inspectors could use for audit purposes."

  • Fruits and vegetables: The "rules would require farmers to take new precautions against contamination, to include making sure workers' hands are washed, irrigation water is clean, and that animals stay out of fields," says AP.
Still, proponents say they would have saved lives and made recent outbreaks of food-borne illnesses much less severe had they been on the books. Three more rules are on the way. You can dig into more specifics at the FDA website.

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
Pointy_1
Jan 6, 2013 8:07 PM CST
They can make all the Laws in creation, not one of them will matter all the while these Laws cannot be enforced due to inadequately trained personnel. Who the FUC* do they think they are kidding?
pg13
Jan 6, 2013 2:45 PM CST
I am a migrant farm worker and they'll stop me from jetting my diarrhea all over your lettuce in the fields and force me to use a Port-a-John when they pry the Charmin from my cold dead fingers.
elderban
Jan 6, 2013 12:29 AM CST
These "new rules" only make it harder for the organic crowd to harvest and sell unadulterated crops and easier for the FDA to shut them down. The FDA is overrated and has too much power.