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FDA issues first rules under Food Safety Modernization Act

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:02 AM

The Food and Drug Administration has issued two new interim food safety rules — the first regulations published under the agency’s new authority provided by the Food Safety Modernization Act.

The interim rules deal with the notification process for imported food previously refused by another country and the FDA’s authority to detain food believed to have been produced under unsanitary or unsafe conditions, according to a news release.
Both rules go into effect July 3, but public comments on both will be accepted through Aug. 3. The FDA published notices of the interim rules in the Federal Register on May 5. Details on how to submit comments are included in the

The detention rule allows the FDA to withhold food, including perishables like fresh produce, even if there is no “credible evidence” of a problem.
Previously the FDA could not detain food unless during an inspection or investigation, an FDA officer found there was credible evidence indicating that the food presents a “threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals,” according to the Federal Register notice.
Now, the agency can detain food for 20 calendar days, with a possible 10-day extension to initiate legal action, if “there is reason to believe that an article of food is adulterated or misbranded.”

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