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FDA Aims to Set New Food Safety Rules to Prevent Future Illness

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Fresh produce (Photo by Baloncici via Shutterstock)
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The amount of food borne illnesses seemed to skyrocket last year, with everything from massive peanut butter recalls to canteloupe listeria scares making the news. But the FDA is hoping that this new set of proposed food safety rules could help prevent up to 2 million food-related illnesses annually.

The regulations would apply to only to certain fruits and vegetables like berries, melons, leafy greens and other foods that are usually eaten raw that pose a heightened risk. They would cost an estimated $30,000 a year for large commercial farmers to implement.

The New York Daily News highlights the issue, and what steps would be taken to change the current state of affairs:

Under the new rules, companies would have to lay out plans for preventing those sorts of problems, monitor their own progress and explain to the FDA how they would correct them...The bill also authorized more surprise inspections by the FDA and gave the agency additional powers to shut down food facilities. In addition, the law required stricter standards on imported foods. The agency said it will soon propose other overdue rules to ensure that importers verify overseas food is safe and to improve food safety audits overseas.
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But, as perhaps is expected with any sort of change, it could be several years before the rules are actually preventing outbreaks. The hope, though, is that the FDA will be able to prevent these sorts of illnesses before they break out.