You Are What You Eat and Baby Is Too
Mareya Ibrahim, President and Founder, EAT CLEANER® and the Cleaner Plate Club™
Spinach. Eggs. Parsley. Peanuts. Beef. Last year was a landmark for food recalls – so many we seemed to all glaze over at the news of yet another sweeping net of bites-gone-bad. What you don’t hear about every day, though, are the millions of people affected by tainted food every year and the lives affected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that about one in six Americans gets sick – over 46 million – and 3,000 die from food borne diseases each year including, but not limited to: E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria.
On January 4th, President Obama signed the revolutionary Food Safety Modernization Act into law, a $1.4 billion proposition and the most sweeping policy related to food safety in almost 100 years. But what does this all mean to YOU?
If you’re a food manufacturer or food service operation:
- Increased number of facility inspections and food safety records to be reviewed
- Mandatory recalls if a company does not volunteer to stop selling tainted products, trace food outbreaks to its source and step up food inspections. In the past, company recalls were not enforced
- Owners, operators, or agents in charge of a food facility must identify and implement preventive controls to significantly minimize or prevent hazards that could affect food manufactured, processed, packed, or held by such facility. This must be
- Allows for fines to be imposed on companies that have issued recalls and food facility re-inspections
If you’re a consumer:
- Possibly higher food prices, from grocery stores to restaurants. Everyone will be absorbing the increases.
- More traceable food. Manufacturers will now be required to implement a traceability program. Look for scan codes on every piece of produce you purchase
- Voluntary food allergy and anaphylaxis management guidelines for schools and early childhood education programs
In time, the hope is for a safer food supply for all but is it a catch-all? Some food experts feel that the slow moving pace of the FDA combined with the limited funding will have them biting off more than they can chew. But for victims of the debilitating effects of food poisoning, it is a much needed step in the right direction, putting more onus on manufacturers and food service professionals to join the cleaner plate club.