A seemingly regular cycle of food contamination scares about various food processing facilities prompted Congress to require revisions to Food and Drug Administration food safety regulations. Today, the FDA offered an early look at proposed rules on produce safety and preventive controls in human food production, plus preventive controls in animal food production and on foreign supplier verification programs. A comment period on the rule proposals will begin after they are officially published in the Federal Register on Sept. 29.
CQ Roll Call’s Georgina Gustin reports that the new rules are designed to make the inspection process less burdensome, especially for small and organic food growers, as the agency is dropping a nine-month delay on developing risk analysis on manure and eases restrictions on the agricultural water quality standards.
The proposed rule for produce products also clarifies what constitutes a covered farm, saying that those with produce sales – not food sales – under $25,000 annually will not be subject to the rules.
Additionally, the revised regulations on preventive controls for animal food addresses concerns raised by brewers and livestock farmers, that unprocessed spent grains – a byproduct of the brewing process – would be not be subject to new regulations when sold as animal feed. The proposed rules on foreign supplier verification requires annual on site auditing of foreign suppliers, but companies with well-documented supply chains could opt out.