Food safety advocates and survivors of foodborne illnesses are asking the U.S. Senate to pass its Food Safety Enhancement Act - S. 510. The groups released a report Wednesday afternoon detailing the food recalls that have occurred since the House passed Food and Drug Administration reform legislation in July 2009. That includes the recall of more than 500 million eggs from a salmonella outbreak this summer.
The proposed Food Safety Enhancement Act covers many aspects of food safety, including better preventive control measures by manufacturers, more frequent inspections of facilities, and greater FDA authority over recalls. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, one of the groups supporting Senate action, the legislation is urgently needed to help restore confidence in the American food supply.
The groups say under the current system, food manufacturing facilities might be visited by an inspector from the Food and Drug Administration only once every five or 10 years. Proposed legislation would increase food inspections dramatically: every six to 12 months for high risk facilities; every 18 months to three years for low-risk facilities; and every five years for warehouses.