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One agency should handle country’s total food safety

by 5m Editor
17 October 2006, at 11:51am

US - Recent widespread outbreaks of E. coli contamination have resulted in the recall of spinach, lettuce and ground beef. Some of the cases were fatal to consumers.

The recent problems have sparked calls for a change. One of the suggestions involves giving a single agency responsibility for food safety.

But a key Bush administration official says that’s not necessary.

Under the current system, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration share the responsibility for making sure that all food is safe. However, the two agencies don’t have the same inspection and safety authority.

The USDA operates a meat and poultry safety program that includes daily inspections of processing plants. Moreover, it requires plants to make periodic reviews to find vulnerabilities in the chain of production. And it requires them to do constant monitoring of those weak points.

Otherwise, the responsibility for safety of foods like lettuce, spinach and other produce falls to the FDA. It doesn’t have the same sort of authority as the USDA and its rules differ as well.

Source: Tuscaloosa News

5m Editor