The FDA plays a major part in food-based businesses, and the health of the public is its highest priority. However, Sen. Chuck Schumer isn’t too pleased with their latest work when it relates to recalls. In particular, he cites the delays in the process as being a “recipe for disaster”. He went on to explain his viewpoint further.
“…the FDA must come to the table with a healthy, new plan, detailing how they will revamp and execute a reformed food recall process. One that gets potentially contaminated food off the shelves before Americans risk getting sick, not after.”
He also went on to mention that “thousands and thousands and thousands got sick” as a result of a recent recall. He’s referring to a flour-related E.coli outbreak. The outbreak wasn’t recalled for (allegedly) six months after it was first identified.
“In some cases, the FDA waits months before issuing recalls on potentially contaminated food products. That’s why I’m urging the FDA to conduct a top-to-bottom review of their contaminated food recall process with an eye towards speeding things up.”
Chuck Schumer also identified other recent cases that had concerned him to back up his suggestions.
“Earlier this summer, New Yorkers were directly impacted in massive beef recalls that had E. coli contamination,” — “This February, New Yorkers saw a mass chicken recall because of Listeria.”
FDA In The News
As always, there have been plenty other stories in the press recently regarding the FDA. They’re constantly working hard to monitor food and drug-related establishments. Let’s look at some of the most notable stories.
The FDA has warned that we need to be much more careful with the food we’re giving to dogs. An FDA Veterinarian was quoted as saying that “Our bodies may break down foods or other chemicals that a dog’s can’t tolerate.” Among the list of harmful foods for dogs is raw meat, grapes, fried foods and of course, chocolate. It was noted that cats are much pickier eaters, and you don’t need to be quite as careful with them! You can get the full list of harmful dog consumables at this link.
Hampton Creek won an important case recently regarding their product: ‘Just Mayo’. The FDA’s concerns related to the confusion behind the name for the most part. After meeting and ironing out their concerns, both Hampton Creek and the FDA came to an agreement. “…the FDA considers the issues cited in the warning letter to be resolved…”. The company has now committed to altering their label to prevent any confusion. You can read more on Hampton Creek and this story by clicking here.
The FDA has had concerns regarding the amount of salt in our foods. Now, they want food makers to voluntarily reduce the amount of salt they’re using. Susan Mayne, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, explained her worries. “There is important work to be done. People will always have the choice to add salt to their foods. What they don’t have now is the choice to take it out.” The ultimate goal is to reduce the average daily salt intake of an American adult to 2,300mg a day. You can read more about this story by clicking here.
Kansas-based North American Enterprises, LLC felt the wrath of the FDA recently. They have been in trouble for repeated food safety violations. Major restrictions have been placed on the company until it improves. The FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs was quoted as saying that “The FDA took action against Native American Enterprises, LLC to protect public health, and as a result, the company’s adulterated food products are prevented from entering the marketplace.”. This link has the full story.
We’ve only picked four examples of FDA stories on the web, and you can find hundreds more by conducting a simple Google search.
FDA Food Handling Tips
The FDA carry out extensive processes to ensure that businesses around the world are operating in a safe manner. They’re also there to stick up for the consumers and make sure they remain as healthy as possible. We’re going to take this opportunity to refresh your mind about the FDA’s advice regarding safe food handling.
Clean To Prevent Bacteria Spreading
Before you engage in any activity, it’s obvious that you must wash your hands. Failing to do this can lead to bacteria spreading. You must also clean your utensils, surfaces and anything else you plan to use. Fresh fruits and vegetables should always be washed before use as well.
Store Food Correctly
It’s important to separate foods in order to prevent cross-contamination. This is particularly important when handling things like seafood and raw meat. Always separate them, whether you’re storing them or preparing them to be consumed.
Cook At The Right Temperatures
The purpose of cooking at the correct temperatures is to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the correct temperatures, times and visual signs. Having a good understanding of these is crucial to result in fully-cooked foods. A food thermometer is recommended for this task, while those who use the microwave often should be careful also. When using the microwave, always allow standing time to complete the cooking process.
Understand The Signs Of Illness
Despite doing your best to reduce the possibility of illness, it could still strike at any point. You need to be able to identify the signs of food-related illnesses. Normally, illness will result with 1-3 days after consuming the affected food. Sickness can result very quickly, though, and a food-related illness can be lethal in some cases, and a minor annoyance in others. If you suspect a food-based illness, you must inform your healthcare provider immediately. They will assist you with the next steps.
So, to recap. Chuck Schumer is concerned by the FDA recall process, calling for a “top-to-bottom review.” He states that “the FDA must come to the table with a healthy, new plan, detailing how they will revamp and execute a reformed food recall process.”.