The government would implement a program to better track fruits and vegetables so that the source of a foodborne illness outbreak could be more easily established. Companies would be required to submit food shipment and sales records to the government as part of this program. The government would also establish a pilot program to track processed food.
(For more on how researchers at Kingston University in London leveraged European Union data to analyze which countries exported the most contaminated food stuffs into the region, read "Finding Food Security Solutions," by former Assistant Editor Stephanie Berrong.)
Under the bill, the government can force a company to issue a recall, if it introduces contaminated or adulterated food into the food chain. Under current law, the government can only suggest a recall.
U.S. food importers would be required to perform risk assessments on foreign suppliers to verify that imported food is produced in compliance with applicable safety requirements. The government would issue guidance to assist U.S. importers in developing foreign supplier verification programs.
An amendment exempts small-scale producers that sell most of their food directly to consumers within their state or within a 275-mile radius of where it was produced.
♦ Photo by Simon Shek/Flickr