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How Big a Problem Is Foodborne Illness?

The FDA has new tools to ensure the safety of the foods we eat

by Lab Manager
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According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. This represents a significant health burden that is largely preventable.

Accordingly, the  US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), arguably the most sweeping reform of US food safety laws in more than 70 years. This act was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011 with the aim of ensuring the US food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.

To make informed decisions about public health, valid analytical results are required. Ensuring that laboratory results are both consistent and valid relies on assuring 1) management requirements for the operation and effectiveness of the quality management system within the laboratory and 2) technical requirements that address the correctness and reliability of the tests the tests and calibrations preformed in the lab.

With the FDA requiring the food industry to document their analytical testing for content and adulteration, as well as their forensic and investigational analyses many food labs are in the process of evaluating their processes, controls, and record keeping.

If you are interested in learning more about how your lab can prepare to help the food industry meet their FSMA compliance needs, download the Lab Manager webinar "How are the Food Industry, FSMA, and Forensic Analysis Connected" presented by Dr. Craig Schwandt, Director of Industrial Services - Senior Research Scientist, McCrone Associates Inc.