FDA issues first new rules of Food Safety Modernization Act

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has unveiled two regulations, part of the newly enacted Food Safety Modernization Act, that will take effect in July.

Beginning in July, the FDA will be able to detain food products that the agency has reason to believe are adulterated or misbranded for up to 30 days, if needed, to ensure they are kept out of the marketplace. The products will be kept out of the marketplace while the FDA determines whether an enforcement action, such as seizure or federal injunction against distribution of the product in commerce, is necessary, the regulatory agency said.

"This authority strengthens significantly the FDA's ability to keep potentially harmful food from reaching U.S. consumers," FDA deputy commissioner for foods Mike Taylor said. "It is a prime example of how the new food safety law allows [the] FDA to build prevention into our food safety system."

Meanwhile, the second rule requires anyone importing food into the United States to inform the FDA if any country has refused entry to the same product, including food for animals. This new requirement will provide the agency with more information about foods that are being imported, which improves the FDA's ability to target foods that may pose a significant risk to public health.

"The new information on imports can help the FDA make better-informed decisions in managing the potential risks of imported food entering the United States," Taylor said. "These rules will be followed later this year and next year by a series of proposed rules for both domestic and imported food that will help the FDA continue building the new food safety system called for by Congress."

For more information on the Food Safety Modernization Act, click here.

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