Acknowledging that the disconnected network of state oversight can lead to "inconsistencies in oversight of food safety," the Food And Drug Administration launched an effort today to coordinate the state-level enforcement of food safety standards at food processing facilities.
The initiative seeks to encourage states to adopt voluntary practices that would be uniform across the country, so as to reduce the incidence of food-borne illness. There are 156,637 FDA-registered food processing facilities in the United States (To see list, by type of facility and country, click here) that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food.
The FDA regulates about 80 percent of the food supply, which includes food for humans and animals, except meat products, poultry products, and egg products, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This risk-based program represents a significant step in further integrating our food safety system, said Margaret Glavin, FDA''s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, said in a prepared statement sent to the press.
We realize it will be several years before it''s fully implemented, but we''re confident this program will bring great benefits to the public health. The FDA developed the "Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards" were developed over five years in cooperation with state regulators. are the result of five years of intensive cooperative effort by federal and state regulators.
These standards will be applied uniformly across state programs, if the voluntary program is successful:
States will use worksheets and self assessments to measure how consistent their programs are with the federal standards. New York, Oregon and Missouri will test the program this summer.
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