Under the interim ruling, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be allowed extended access to food firm records beyond those relating to specific suspect food articles if it believes that other products are likely to be affected in a similar manner.
Food testing firm SGS food technologist Jim Cook told FoodQualityNews.com that the expanded access to industry records will only improve food safety management in the US.
“It’s basically going to weed out those companies that have not cooperated in the past and it should reduce the length of a foodborne outbreak, reduce the time frame that it takes to recall a product, which in the end will help all of the industry,” said Cook.
The amendment, which took effect from 1 March 2012, is the FDA’s latest step in implementing the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA).
According to the FDA, the expanded access will bring food firm record keeping in-line with its access to records and boost its ability to prevent potentially harmful food entering the market and reaching consumers.