The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has introduced two new rules as part of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act in hopes they will increase food safety and prevent foodborne illness.
Every year, the Centers for Disease Controls estimates that one out of every six Americans — 48 million — becomes ill due to a foodborne illness. 128,000 Americans become so ill that they have to be hospitalized and approximately 3,000 die from ultimately preventable food contamination. Foodborne illness is tragic to the families who have lost a loved one due to a preventable illness and those who have had their health permanently impaired.
With the two new rules, the FDA estimates that 1.25 million illness caused by food contamination can be prevented.
Foodborne illness includes pathogens such as e-Coli, Salmonella and Listeria.
The new rules include:
- Preventive Controls for Human Food – these rules concern facilities that process and store food and the cleanliness of packaging facilities. The preventive control rules include evaluating potential hazards, minimizing hazards, setting up controls, monitoring as well as what actions should be taken if contamination is found.
- Produce Safety – these rules address contamination by manure-based fertilizer, water sprayed on crops, farm worker hygiene, animals in the growing fields and sanitation of equipment, building and tools. Rules
The FDA has published the rules and the public has 120 days to comment before they go into effect and then, suppliers and producers have a window of up to four years to phase in all of the rules.
These rules cannot come soon enough as just this past year 42 people were sickened by peanut butter contaminated by salmonella. In 2011, 30 people died and 146 people were sickened by Listeria-contaminated cantaloupes.
While The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue, Washington personal injury law firm that represents the victims of foodborne illness, applauds the new rules, we are hoping that the new rules are adopted quickly by industry and are enforced.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. CALL US today for a FREE CONSULTATION at 425-455-9087.