Traceability Within Food Manufacturing
Just before Christmas 2010, talk about the food industry was swirling about there being the potential for new FDA powers in food recall and traceability. A newly proposed food safety bill is geared toward reducing the number of injuries due to food contamination. How will that affect the food manufacturing industry?
One of the most discussed aspects about the proposed bill is requirements for tracing food from retailer to manufacturer to the original source - the grower. Manufacturers and suppliers will have to know where the food came fromâ¬"each ingredientâ¬"and where it will go. These rules come after a series of food contamination events in 2009 and 2010, becuase the FDA had difficulty in finding the source of salmonella contamination. Months of searching went by, and many people got sick, as the industry searched frantically for the source of the bugs. With the new rules being implemented, foods will be tracked from source to retailer, making it easy to find out where the components of the contaminated food come from.
Power of Recall
The bill also seeks to give the FDA the power to force manufacturers and suppliers to pull their products from the shelves and issue notices to the public. This power will come with consequences for the offending company who fails to comply. During the large-scale peanut butter recall of 2009, not all of the companies complied. More than half of them failed to provide adequate information on their foods' source. The bill seeks to change that, giving the FDA the power to regulate the food industry.
The U.S. isn't the only country involved. Several international food safety organizations are trying to affect change in the industry. International contamination's in infant formula and dog food are just a few concerns. International regulation, standards, a traceability is the goal.
Food safety has become a major concern to consumers. The food safety regulations will add costs to food manufacturers in the form of tracking systems, equipment for marking as well as staff to oversee the tracking process. Beyond that, the effects of the bill are yet to be seen as 2010 draws to a close.