Food Business News - June 28, 2016 - (Page 42)

Washington RECALL Audit finds F.D.A. must improve food recall process Agency told to require companies to respond promptly to food safety concerns he Food and Drug Administration does not have "an efficient and effective food recall initiation process that helps ensure the safety of the nation's food supply," according to the Office of the Inspector General (O.I.G.) of the Department of Health and Human Services. In a June 8 letter to Robert M. Califf, the F.D.A. commissioner, Daniel R. Levinson, inspector general, said the F.D.A. did not have adequate policies and procedures to ensure that firms or responsible parties initiated voluntary food recalls promptly. "This issue is a significant matter and requires F.D.A.'s immediate attention," Mr. Levinson said. Mr. Levinson's letter contained preliminary findings of an ongoing audit of the F.D.A.'s food recall program and was meant as an "early alert" to the agency of the shortcomings it has found and that will be more T 42 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® fully explored when a draft audit is completed and its results published. Mr. Levinson said the preliminary findings were based on a review of 30 selected voluntary food recalls reported to the F.D.A. between October 2012 and May 2015. The findings highlighted deficiencies in the food recall initiation process. "Specifically, we found that F.D.A.'s policies and procedures did not instruct its recall staff to prescribe to the firms a time and a manner in which to initiate a recall," he said. Mr. Levinson added, "For two recalls, the firms did not initiate the recall of all potentially harmful products until 165 days and 81 days after F.D.A. became aware of the potential contaminations. The delays in the firms' recalls may have occurred because F.D.A. did not have policies and procedures that instruct its recall staff to establish set timeframes for (1) F.D.A. to request that firms voluntarily recall their products and (2) firms to initiate voluntary food recalls. As a result, consumers remained at risk of illness or death for several weeks after F.D.A. knew of potentially hazardous food." In a June 9 blog posting, Stephen Ostroff, F.D.A.'s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, and Howard Sklamberg, deputy commissioner for global regulatory operations and policy, agreed that more may and should be done. Mr. Ostroff and Mr. Sklamberg noted, "The alert focuses in particular on two recalls in which the companies did not initiate recalls of all affected products for months despite the fact F.D.A. notified them as soon as the agency had evidence of a contamination. This finding is unacceptable, no question about that. It bears noting, however, that in those years, the F.D.A. worked with companies to successfully bring about thousands of recalls to keep unsafe food out of the market and homes of consumers with an average recall initiation time of less than a week." Mr. Ostroff and Mr. Sklamberg asserted, "We fully agree with the O.I.G. that we must move as expeditiously as possible. We also agree that timeframes should be set, but they must be done on an individual basis rather than by setting arbitrary deadlines. The complexities surrounding recall events make it difficult for the F.D.A. to establish a single timeline applicable to all situations." Mr. Ostroff and Mr. Sklamberg pointed to the F.D.A.'s establishment of a Strategic Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (SCORE) team that they said will help identify timely and efficient measures to help mitigate public health risks, goals they said were shared by the O.I.G. The F.D.A. officials emphasized, "We are always working to be better at our job and will use the O.I.G.'s input as it was intended - to further strengthen our protection of the food supply." Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said, "I hope to find the F.D.A. is taking seriously all of the inspector general's recommendations and will take the steps necessary to immediately focus on its core mission and get its house in order so Americans aren't bringing potentially dangerous food into theirs." Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, member of the House Committee on Appropriation's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, said, "News that the F.D.A. does not have policies or procedures to ensure swift voluntary recalls during cases of foodborne illnesses is mind-boggling ... this report demonstrates that the F.D.A.'s action - or inaction - can have life-threatening consequences for American families. The F.D.A. must make the O.I.G.'s recommendations a top priority and act on them immediately. I will be monitoring this investigation closely." FBN - Max Sosland June 28, 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - June 28, 2016

Food Business News - June 28, 2016
What will Brexit mean for U.K. food and agriculture?
Obesity rate rises as sweetener use declines
Beverage Business News - Protein on trend in R.-T.-D. beverages
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - Market fragmentation intensifies C.P.G., retail competition
Coca-Cola invests in organic aloe water beverage maker
Dunkin’ Donuts evolves with expansion of beverage portfolio
Philadelphia passes tax on caloric, diet beverages
Post said to be considering combining with Lamb Weston
Teasdale adds to private label portfolio with purchase of Mesa Foods
CVS to expand selection of healthier foods, will add to private label line
Monster moving beyond energy beverages with debut of Mutant, Hydro
Coca-Cola changing its soft drink strategy to focus on ‘shaping choice
McDonald’s to relocate corporate headquarters
Smucker earnings soar on coffee sales, pet food acquisition
A squeeze on pectin
Picking out pectin alternatives
Kellogg launches $100 million venture capital fund
Kellogg adds Pure Organic to Kashi portfolio
TreeHouse Foods profiles the changing private label consumer
Martha Stewart enters meal kit market with delivery subscription service
B&G Foods ready to ‘fight back’ in frozen food aisle
Washington - Audit finds F.D.A. must improve food recall process
Snack Trends - Key trends unveiled at Sweets & Snacks 2016
Crispy, convenient and gluten-free
When gluten-free orders get serious
Company profile - WhiteWave Foods eyeing $3 billion in additional U.S. plant-based foods sales
WhiteWave’s Earthbound Farm brand set to soar in fresh and frozen
Industry Images - Record attendance at 2016 Purchasing Seminar
New Food Products
Ingredient Market Trends - Post-eleventh hour compromise on G.M.O. labeling
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - June 28, 2016