Food safety concerns
Food safety is an increasingly important issue. U.S. foodborne illnesses have increased by 44% in the last two years1, and media attention surrounding recalls; outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella and listeria; and food labeling issues involving mislabeled beef and fish products are driving an increased interest among the public.
The U.S. has one of the world’s safest food supplies2, and yet each year foodborne illness causes 48 million gastrointestinal illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.3
In 2011, the U.S. Congress passed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of U.S. food safety laws in more than 70 years. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by focusing on preventing contamination rather than responding to contamination. For example, processors of all types of food will now be required to evaluate the hazards in their operations, implement and monitor effective measures to prevent contamination, and have a plan in place to take any corrective actions that are necessary. Also, the FDA will have much more effective enforcement tools for ensuring those plans are adequate and properly implemented, including mandatory recall authority when needed to swiftly remove contaminated food from the market.4
Working together with regulators, manufacturers, government and retailers, UL offers process audits, certification of commercial food equipment, and food safety training to help safeguard the food supply from production to consumption.
“Report: Unsafe Food Putting Lives at Risk,” CNN Health, 25 Oct. 2012. Web: 9 May 2013.
“A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety Risks,” 4 Apr. 2013. Web: 9 May 2013.
“Food Safety for Moms-to-Be,” FDA Presentation. Web: 9 May 2013.
“Food Safety Modernization Act: Putting the Focus on Prevention,” The White House Blog, 3 Jan. 2011. Web: 9 May 2013.