Food Safety Laws Overhauled in New Proposal
Plans for significant changes to food safety laws have been introduced by lawmakers in an effort to improve food inspections, regulations, recall responses, and public education on food safety. The primary building block behind the plan is enacting new laws mandating E. coli inspections of ground beef.
The new changes will alter the traditional approaches to food safety by concentrating on catching food poisoning outbreaks early on and preventing further illnesses. Some of the proposed changes include:
- Streamlining and strengthening regulations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Imposing penalties for companies failing to implement new testing mechanisms at their facilities via the E. Coli Eradication Act
- Making recalls of contaminated food mandatory
The responsibility of enforcing United States food safety is shared by 15 federal agencies, with the FDA and USDA taking on the majority of the load. Although the FDA has a large responsibility, the agency is often limited to reactive regulations after outbreaks have already begun.