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House to Update Food Safety Enhancement Act

Looks like today is the day that the House will mark up the Food Safety Enhancement Act that will put into place new food safety regulations.

here are some highlights from the draft bill via the Daily Kos:

* Gives the FDA mandatory recall authority.

* Requires all food producers to register with the FDA & pay a registration fee of $1000. It applies to both US and foreign producers and will fund much of (but not all of) the FDA's activities. (This provision excludes farms and restaurants, which are not considered "food facilities.")

* Requires companies to prepare food safety plans. The FDA can audit them and can specify minimum requirements.

* The FDA is required to issue food safety regulations for production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables. This worries me A LOT. The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement provided "safety" guidelines for leafy greens that were absolutely idiotic and harmful. That is what we DON'T want to see happen here. However, that part will be hammered out by the FDA, not by Congress. It's just something to pay attention to for the future.

* Inspections: High risk facilities must be inspected every 6-18 mos. Lower risk facilities can be inspected every 18 mos to 3 years. Warehouses must be inspected every 3-4 years.
 
 

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