JAMA | VOL. 306
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Food and Drug Administration Regulation of Food Safety

Publication Date Jul 6, 2011

Abstract

Food-borne illness remains a major public health challenge in the United States, causing an estimated 48 million illness episodes and 3000 deaths annually. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), enacted in 2011, gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new tools to regulate food safety. The act emphasizes prevention, enhanced recall authority, and oversight of imported food. The FSMA brings the FDA’s food safety regulation in line with core tenets of public health by focusing on preventing outbreaks, rather than reacting to them, and differentiating between foods and food producers based on the degree of risk they pose. The FSMA also recognizes the increasing importance of imported food and enhances the ability of the FDA to safeguard the U.S. food supply from hazards originating abroad. The act achieves its prevention objectives through requiring food production facilities to establish preventive control plans and by increasing inspection frequency – a shortcoming of the FDA in recent years. The act also enhances the FDA’s ability to respond to food safety problems when they occur. Through pilot projects on food tracing systems and an enhanced surveillance system, the FDA will be have better tools to determine the source of outbreaks. Additionally, the act gives the FDA new mandatory recall authority – a badly needed addition to its enforcement capabilities. In an increasingly globalized food environment, the FSMA gives the FDA new authority to regulate imported food. Among other provisions, the act allows FDA to...

Concepts

Food And Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act Food And Drug Administration Food Safety Enhanced Surveillance System Food Safety Regulation Enforcement Capabilities Partners In Government Foreign Food Regulatory Gaps Inadequate Funding

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