FDA issues new food safety rules
Lettuce in the field. Photo by Kit Logan. Some rights reserved. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitlogan/
Late last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration released two sweeping new regulations governing how fruits and vegetables are grown and processed. According to NPR's blog, The Salt:
One rule covers operations at fruit and vegetable farms, focusing on those foods that we eat raw and have been the subject of several recent recalls, like leafy greens, tomatoes, melons, herbs, green onions and berries. They would require worker safety training, handwashing, clean water and monitoring the presence of animals in the field that could spread illness. The other proposed rule would require food processors to develop and follow detailed plans for preventing contamination of their products.
The rules are largely being applauded. Food safety advocates have called for stricter rules as crops from spinach to cilantro to lettuce have caused significant illnesses. The PewCharitable Trusts' food program said the rules will "empower the Food and Drug Administration to take sweeping measures to prevent foodborne illnesses, which sicken about 48 million Americans each year at a cost of more than $77 billion."
The rules exempt small farmers who sell less than $500,000 worth of produce a year and sell mostly to local markets. But some small farmers are still concerned they'll have to comply with the complicated regulations.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on a major development in food safety in the U.S.
Tags: fda, food safety, foodborne illness, produce, vegetables