CHICAGO, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- STOP Foodborne Illness ( http://www.stopfoodborneillness.org) applauds the White House Administration's action today of releasing for public comment two proposed rules that would implement important aspects of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law by President Obama two years ago to the day. These rules are:
Produce: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption
Preventative Controls for Human Food: Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food
When implemented, these rules will help prevent the escalating problem in the United States of contaminated foods, which can cause short term illness, long-term chronic health issues and even lead to death. "We're eager to review these proposals and look forward to commenting in order to prevent food safety problems, and the foodborne illnesses resulting from them. This proactive prevention created by FSMA will replace the current reactive course of action that currently takes place when a food contamination problem arises," said Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of STOP Foodborne Illness. When fully implemented, FSMA will be a long overdue overhaul of the out-of-date food safety laws currently in place. It will help prevent outbreaks of food contamination such as last August's outbreak of salmonella in cantaloupes that killed three and sickened 261 people in 24 states. "The deaths and illnesses resulting from last year's massive cantaloupe salmonella outbreak may have been prevented if FSMA had already been enacted," according to Schlunegger. "Today's release of rules for comment is an exciting step forward indicating the White House is committed to enacting FSMA this year." The safety of the U.S. human food system is only one component of FSMA.