Matthew J. Lohr, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, encourages farmers, food companies, packers, government and the public to take advantage of a 120-day comment period on two new proposed food safety regulations that were released recently by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Produce Safety regulation and the Food Safety Preventative Controls regulation are components of the Food Safety Modernization Act. “This is an opportunity for all of us in the food industry to work together to improve food safety in America,” Lohr said.
The first regulation announced by FDA emphasizes measures that farmers and produce packers should take to prevent the contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables. The second regulation includes preventive measures for the manufacture of food products.
Now that the rules are available for public comment, Lohr said it is important that the agricultural community takes the time to review them carefully and offer feedback. The FDA has already held many listening sessions and wants to continue that process through the comment period.
Interested parties who want to comment should go to the following web pages, read the summary and click on the “SUBMIT A FORMAL COMMENT” bar:
Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-00125
Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-00123.
The full text of the regulations is at www.fda.gov/fsma.