(By Balachander) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed two new food safety rules that will help prevent foodborne illness.
According to the FDA, the burden of foodborne illness in the United States is substantial. One in six Americans suffer from a foodborne illness every year. Of those, nearly 130,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from their illness.
The agency said preventing foodborne illnesses will improve public health, reduce medical costs, and avoid the costly disruptions of the food system caused by illness outbreaks and large-scale recalls.
The first rule proposed would require makers of food to be sold in the United States to develop a formal plan for preventing their food products from causing foodborne illness and for correcting any problems that arise.
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The other rule proposes science- and risk-based standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables.
"We know one-size-fits-all rules won't work," said Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. "We've worked to develop proposed regulations that can be both effective and practical across today's diverse food system."
In addition, the FDA said it will propose a preventive controls rule for animal food facilities, similar to the preventive controls rule proposed today for human food.