In an effort to avoid illness outbreaks from imported foods, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed new rules that would require importers to verify that their suppliers' standards are on par with those of domestic growers and processors.
These proposals are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) approach to modernizing the food safety system for the 21st century. FSMA focuses on preventing food safety problems, rather than relying primarily on responding to problems after the fact. The FDA encourages Americans to review and comment on these important proposed rules.
Under the proposed rules, importers would be accountable for verifying that their foreign suppliers are implementing modern, prevention-oriented food safety practices and achieving the same level of food safety as domestic growers and processors. The FDA is also proposing rules to strengthen the quality, objectivity and transparency of foreign food safety audits on which many food companies and importers currently rely to help manage the safety of their global food supply chains.
Those proposed rules are currently open for comment until Sept. 16, 2013. To view the Federal Register notices, visit http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm362610.htm.