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USDA Implements ‘Prevention-Based’ Policy Measures to Avoid Food Poisoning Outbreaks

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced new plans to protect consumers from foodborne illness in meat and poultry products. The goal of the procedures is to improve the ability to trace contaminated food that has entered into commerce, to neutralize outbreaks quickly, and to establish the effectiveness of food safety systems. These steps are intended to support the three fundamental principles developed by the President’s Food Safety Working Group: prioritizing prevention; strengthening surveillance and enforcement; and improving response and recovery.

Free Food Poisoning Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has suffered from food poisoning, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.

What’s the problem?

May 5, 2012 – The new policy measures will include:
Enhanced Traceback Procedures – The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) intends to implement new steps to control contaminated foodstuffs earlier and prevent them from causing outbreaks and widespread illnesses. Traceback investigations will be initiated earlier to identify the source of contaminated products. When FSIS is informed of a possible outbreak, the agency will move swiftly to identify the supplier and any processors who subsequently received the product. This policy change is intended to give FSIS the power to prevent contaminated foods from making it to commerce.

Three Provisions of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 – These new regulations will require establishments to:

      • prepare and maintain recall procedures;
      • notify FSIS within 24 hours if a potentially contaminated product has been shipped into commerce;
      • document each reassessment of their hazard control and critical control point (HACCP) system food safety plans.

Guidance on HACCP Food Safety Systems – This process, which is known as ‘validation,’ involves instructing companies on the steps necessary to control the food safety hazards they confront. This is intended to enable firms to ensure that their processes are safe and effective at preventing contamination.

“The additional safeguards we are announcing today will improve our ability to prevent foodborne illness by strengthening our food safety infrastructure,” said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. “Together, these measures will provide us with more tools to protect our food supply, resulting in stronger public health protections for consumers.”

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The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in food poisoning lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

Free Food Poisoning Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has suffered from food poisoning, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a food poisoning suit and we can help.

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