To battle foodborne illnesses, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have implemented new rules that outline safety standards for produce farms and hold importers responsible for ensuring imported food meets safety standards.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 48 million people fall ill due to food poisoning in the US each year – that’s one in six people. Of these sufferers, 128,000 require hospital treatment and 3,000 people are killed.
Earlier in 2015 we blogged on the redesign of an online tool that can be used to search data on foodborne disease outbreaks in the US – something that Europe would very much benefit from. For more information on this, read our previous blog here.
Now, with the new rules released by the FDA on 13 November 2015, the number of cases of foodborne illnesses in the US should be reduced. So what are the new rules in America?
The Produce Safety Rule
This establishes science-based standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding produce that are designed to work effectively for food safety across the wide diversity of produce farms. By taking on public input during research that involved many farm visits, the rule has been designed to reduce the risk of contamination to food products while allowing “appropriate flexibility for farmers and producers.”
The Foreign Supplier Verification Programs Rule
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that, in 2013, approximately 19 per cent of US Food was imported – of which 52 per cent was fresh fruits, and 22 per cent was fresh veg.
The implementation of the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule means that importers will be responsible for verifying that the suppliers of their imported food meets US safety standards.
Global estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that 600 million people suffer illness caused by contaminated food – that’s approximately one in 10 of the world’s population. Of the 600 million people affected, 420,000 people die as a result of foodborne illness. For further information, read our previous blog here.
If you’re planning a trip to the US, or have suffered a foodborne illness whilst visiting the States, you may not be aware that a compensation claim is possible from back home in the UK when you return. If you suffer food poisoning whilst in the United States or overseas, our no win, no fee solicitors can help you with your claim for compensation.
Call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online. From outside the UK please call +44 20 7657 1555.