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FDA proposes safety standards to prevent foodborne diseases

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 14, 2013

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The Food and Drug Administration has recommended two new food safety rules for produce and processed goods sold in the United States in an effort to prevent foodborne illness. The proposals stem from the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which President Obama signed into law on Jan. 4, 2011.

One suggested rule would require domestic and foreign-based food manufacturers to develop plans for preventing their products from causing foodborne illness. The rule would mandate that manufacturers have plans to correct problems and that companies be able to verify that the strategies work, the FDA said.

The agency also recommends that farms growing or harvesting fruits and vegetables be required to follow enforceable standards aimed at preventing contamination of produce (link).

One in six Americans develops a foodborne illness each year, and about 128,000 people are hospitalized, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 3,000 die of foodborne diseases each year, the CDC said. The public has 120 days to issue comments on the FDA’s proposed rules.

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