The Food and Drug Administration has announced new steps to improve the cleanliness of food manufacturing plants after a string of lethal foodborne illness outbreaks.
Tainted foods that cause sickness, hospitalization, and even death - including from allergic reactions - saw an increase in prevalence over the past several months. To counteract that, the FDA has announced plans to revise the way food manufacturers handle foods and clean up afterwards.
Two new rules that take effect later this year.
Two new rules aimed towards both makers of human and animal foods require new, more detailed food safety plans showing how they keep their facilities clean and how they react to potential safety issues.
The rules are part of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law in 2011. These are the first big changes to U.S. food safety laws in seven decades, says the FDA.
Five additional rules are planned for finalization by 2016, all aimed at keeping pathogens and allergen contaminants out of food in order to prevent rather than react to outbreaks. Rules may expand to the farm as well, though those are preliminary.
Oversight of imported foods is also to increase, says the FDA.