In May, the Food and Drug Administration announced two new regulations to help ensure the safety and security of foods and petfoods in the United States.
The rules are the first to be issued by FDA under the authorities granted by the Food Safety Modernization Act, signed into law by President Obama in January. Both rules will take effect on July 3, 2011.
The first rule strengthens FDA's ability to prevent potentially unsafe food from entering commerce, by allowing FDA to administratively detain food the agency believes has been produced under unsanitary or unsafe conditions. The product will be kept out of the marketplace for up to 30 days while the agency determines if enforcement action is needed.
The second rule requires anyone importing food into the US to inform FDA if any other country has refused entry to the same product, including petfood. This new requirement will provide the agency with more information about imported foods, which improves the FDA's ability to target foods that may pose a significant risk to public health. This new reporting requirement will be administered through FDA's prior notice system for incoming shipments of imported food, established under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.