FDA proposes new food safety laws

By WEEK Producer
By NBC News

FDA proposes new food safety laws

January 4, 2013 Updated Jan 4, 2013 at 5:53 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Food and Drug Administration has proposed new food safety rules that should significantly reduce the number or foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States.

The new rules require manufacturers or food sold in the U.S. -- both domestic and foreign -- to have a written plan that identifies safety hazards and how they can be prevented. They also need to prove the plan is being implemented.

Produce farmers will have to ensure the water and soil they use are clean, and that measures are taken to prevent animals from entering the fields. Basic hygiene practices -- like hand-washing -- will be taught to workers.

Foodborne illnesses tied to listeria, e-coli, and salmonella cause an estimated 3,000 deaths each year.

The new rules are subject to public comment for the next 120 days. Once they are final, farmers will have two years to get on board.

Additionally, within the next few months, FDA hopes to issue a proposed rule on preventative controls for animal feed as well as proposed regulations related to importer accountability for food

safety.

The FDA is also setting requirements for the safe transport of food, and to set standards for trying to prevent intentional contamination of food apply to domestic and international

preventive controls -- food facilities to have a written plan to identify hazards, put steps in place, verify they are working and outline any problems that may arise.

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