FDA strengthens warning process for food recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced new steps to help ensure appropriate public warnings and notifications are issued when FDA-regulated products (including food) are believed to pose a health risk.


While most companies collaborate with the FDA to rapidly initiate voluntary recalls, there are situations where the FDA may need to provide safety advice to the marketplace to protect consumers.  During the past year, it has taken steps to provide more information to consumers about recalls, including determining situations where they will disclose retail information for recalled products.


The FDA’s latest step is to provide directions for companies as to the circumstances and timeframe in which they should issue a public warning about a voluntary recall, and the information that should be included in the warning. The agency also describes situations where it may take action to issue its own public warning should a company’s communications be deemed insufficient. 


The FDA will move ahead with posting recalls to the FDA’s Enforcement Report, which is a web listing of all recalls monitored by the FDA, in some cases before a final health hazard evaluation is completed.


The agency stresses it is implementing the latest technologies, such as whole genome sequencing – a kind of DNA fingerprinting, blockchain technology - to more quickly trace contamination to its source.


Despite the high public profile of food recalls such as romaine lettuce from California in 2018, the agency says that the total 7,420 recalls (of which 831 were classified as highest risk) represent a five-year low. 


Source: FDA February 7, 2019 statement at https://bit.ly/2Sm8Lsc

If latest news: 
Check if it is latest news (for "Latest News" page)
Publish date: 
Saturday, February 9, 2019

Click to leave a comment

For security purposes, please confirm you are not a robot!


Produce shipments slowing at U.S.-Mexico border

The U.S. is reassigning up to 750 border guards from ports of entry along the country’s southern border, to assist in processing migrant crossings from Mexico. Shipments of fresh produce into the U.S. can expect a slowdown for an unspecified period.

EarthFresh Farms expands into southeast U.S.

EarthFresh Farms of Burlington, Ont. announced its expansion into the southeastern U.S. with an advanced technological packing plant and distribution centre in Atlanta, Georgia.

The new 140,000 sq. ft. facilities will operate as EarthFresh Atlanta.

Update on U.S – China trade talks

President Donald Trump says he’s asked China to immediately remove all tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, according to Bloomberg news service. That would be a boon to American farmers, especially soybean producers, but a significant ripple effect could follow in the agricultural exports of other countries.

Coalition formed to keep Tomato Suspension Agreement

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s recently announced intent to withdraw from the 2013 Tomato Suspension Agreement has raised the concern of an American coalition of nearly 80 businesses and industry associations. Canada is watching closely for any unintended consequences if the pull-out goes ahead on May 7.

Film row covers benefit German asparagus growers

About 90 per cent of the asparagus acreage in Germany is covered with film. That’s because white asparagus is considered the German king of vegetables. The season kicks off in April.