US: FDA works on enforceable standards for produce
Posted: July 31st, 2009 - 2:19am
Source: The Packer
The Food and Drug Administration is working to establish enforceable standards for produce safety even before food safety reform legislation passes Congress.
Michael Taylor, senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA, told lawmakers of the Domestic Policy subcommittee of the Government Reform Committee on July 29 that FDA’s approach in the short term will be to issue commodity specific guidance.
Taylor, who spoke during a House hearing on the effectiveness of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, said the agency plans to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service to include those standards in marketing orders when appropriate.
Over the long term, he said the FDA plans to set enforceable produce standards through a regulation that he said will be based on “prevention-oriented public health principles.”
“The regulation also will utilize the progress industry has made in establishing quantitative metrics for the control of some of the factors affecting produce safety by incorporating appropriate measures of success,” he said.
The produce safety regulation will be enforced with the help of federal and state partners, he said to “implement and plan an inspection and enforcement program to ensure high rates of compliance.”
Taylor said the regulations would include clear standards for modern preventive controls by all participants from farm to market, product specific guidance for high-risk commodities, measures on the effectiveness of control systems and microbial testing protocols to verify the effectiveness of preventive controls.