(RxWiki News) About a month ago Europeans had an E. coli outbreak caused by contaminated bean sprouts. Americans worried if it could happen here.
Of course such an outbreak can happen anywhere. After our own outbreaks over the past year involving tainted lettuce, peppers and spinach, just to name a few, the government is taking steps to ensure the safety of our fruits and vegetables.
President Obama has signed a new food safety law proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
"Don't worry America, fruits and vegetables are safe."
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act was signed on January 4, 2011. It will enforce science-based for produce production. The law will apply to anyone who works with produce including people who grow, handle, harvest, sort, package, transport and store it.
This is a huge shift from 2008s “Good Agricultural Practices” regulation because there has never been a mandatory law, until now.
Before regulations and standards are enforced and finalized, members from the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture wanted to speak with actual growers to hear about food safety processes and challenges they face.
It’s refreshing to know that farmers are involved in the process of making changes to food safety regulations, says Bob Jones, Jr., co-owner and production manager of a farm in Ohio called the Chef’s Garden.
Many farmers said that if rules and regulations were going to be mandatory they would like to be educated first.
So the FDA is now working with state agricultural departments, produce industries and others to educate individuals associated with production to provide the training they’ll need to ensure food safety.