F.D.A. strengthening state food safety programs

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has launched a program to encourage state organizations responsible for regulating facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food to adopt regulatory programs that are more uniform, equivalent and high-quality.

Right now, programs vary in different states and these variations may lead to inconsistencies in food safety measures. The adoption of voluntary standards for regulatory programs may help develop a consistent measure for assessing and improving state programs and help state and federal authorities cut down on foodborne illness risks.

"This risk-based program represents a significant step in further integrating our food safety system," said Margaret O’K. Glavin, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs for the F.D.A. "We realize it will be several years before it’s fully implemented, but we’re confident this program will bring great benefits to public health."

The Manufactured Food Regulatory Programs Standards has defined best practices in elements such as staff training, inspection, quality assurance, foodborne illness and incident investigation, enforcement and more. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget has approved these standards, and the standards will be tested in New York, Oregon and Missouri before Sept. 30.

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