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FDA proposes sweeping new food safety rules

January 4, 2013 • Business


FILE – This Sept. 28, 2011 file photo shows cantaloupes rotting in the afternoon heat on a field on the Jensen Farms near Holly, Colo. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday proposed the most sweeping food safety rules in decades, requiring farmers and food companies to be more vigilant in the wake of deadly outbreaks in peanuts, cantaloupe and leafy greens. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday proposed the most sweeping food safety rules in decades, requiring farmers and food companies to be more vigilant in the wake of deadly outbreaks in peanuts, cantaloupe and leafy greens.

The long-overdue regulations could cost businesses close to half a billion dollars a year to implement, but are expected to reduce the estimated 3,000 deaths a year from foodborne illness. Just since last summer, outbreaks of listeria in cheese and salmonella in peanut butter, mangoes and cantaloupe have been linked to more than 400 illnesses and as many as seven deaths, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The actual number of those sickened is likely much higher.

The FDA’s proposed rules would require farmers to take new precautions against contamination, to include making sure workers’ hands are washed, irrigation water is clean, and that animals stay out of fields. Food manufacturers will have to submit food safety plans to the Login to read more

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