Pew identifies four food safety issues to watch in 2018
By Joseph James Whitworth, Food Quality News
The Pew Charitable Trusts has identified four food safety issues to watch this year.
The group said enhancement to FDA recalls, hog slaughter modernization, food safety funding and reauthorization of the farm bill are food safety policy developments expected in 2018.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) said there was ‘room for improvement’ in how the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) handles the recall process.
FDA published draft guidance looking at speeding up the recall process.
Change in recall process
One change under consideration is disclosing information about retail and food service locations that sold or served recalled products. Currently, the agency often does not disclose these details.
FDA’s position is retailer names and locations qualify as ‘confidential commercial information’.
The Pew Charitable Trusts and other public health groups urged FDA to adopt a consistent policy to provide such facts so Americans can easily determine if they have bought or eaten contaminated foods.
“The names and locations of retail stores where recalled products were sold is critical information that is necessary to effectuate a recall, the goal of which is to prevent consumers from suffering illnesses that can lead to serious adverse health consequences or death.
“The names and locations of retailers of recalled products are absolutely “necessary to enable a consumer” to take action that would protect themselves and their families in response to a recall, as consumers may lack information about a product beyond knowing the store at which the product was purchased.”
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