USDA to Implement New Safety Rules Following Slew of Deadly Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
The new rules will require manufacturers to submit food safety plans to the government to show that their facilities are clean. Companies such as Blue Bell experienced listeria contamination in their production facilities, and Parnell peanut butter contained salmonella. These cases led to a number of deaths.
The most recent food concern is over salmonella-tainted cucumbers from Mexico. As of now, there are two confirmed deaths. In last month’s case of Mexican cilantro that was contaminated with an intestinal parasite, health officials found that the packing areas were unsanitary, with human feces and toilet paper in growing fields around the facilities.
FDA investigators found that most of these companies had dirty equipment in their processing facilities. Congress first passed these rules in 2010, and it took two years for the FDA to write specific requirements.
Companies will be required to detail how workers handle the food, how it is processed, how clean the facilities are, and how the food is stored at the right temperature.