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Food Safety Modernization Act (H.R. 2751) Background, Implications and Next Steps

Published Date: 
Apr 07, 2011

Abstract

Over the past few years several events have occurred on the international scene which highlights the importance of food safety in health and development. According to the World Health  Organization  (WHO), every year there are 76 million cases of Food Borne diseases, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5000 deaths in the United States alone. The Food Safety and Modernization Act (H.R.2751) which became a law on 4th Jan 2011 is hence an important step in the right direction. The Government does not want contaminated food to reach the consumers and neither do the Food Companies.

This paper talks about the implications on the suppliers, retailers and importers of food in terms of their business processes, information and data management. The changed role of the FDA in light of HR2751 is highlighted in the paper. The steps to be taken by companies in the food industry so as to be compliant with this law as well as use traceability strategically to get an advantage over the competition are described.

Excerpts from the Paper
On 4th Jan 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act (H.R. 2751).The law authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take on a more proactive interest in Food Safety and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase inspections of many domestic food facilities, enhance detection of food borne illness outbreaks, and order recalls of tainted food products. The law requires the FDA and food companies to write and implement new safety protocols to mitigate potential hazards. One of the key provisions is that imported food products face increased scrutiny under the law, including denial of entry into the United States under certain circumstances.
HCL suggests that every company begin with a traceability readiness assessment. This would identify the gaps that exist between legislative requirements, company policy guidelines, and processes and systems dictated by supply chain, warehouse management, supplier management and quality organizations.

 

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