Watchdog Claims FDA Slow to Order Food Recalls
Details of the Findings
According to Reuters, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General analyzed 30 recalls that occurred between 2012 and 2015. Of those, two involved companies that did not recall all affected items until 165 days and 81 days after the FDA became aware of tainted foods.
The watchdog recommended the FDA to focus on the late food recalls immediately.
Specialists suggest that the FDA does not count with adequate policies and procedures to make sure that the companies are following the voluntary recalls appropriately.
According to some FDA officials, they have a plan to strengthen their policies on both voluntary and mandatory recalls. The FDA will hire specialists from different disciplines to make the food recalls quicker.
Also, the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act will be taken into consideration to require companies to optimize food risks.
Foodborne Illness Statistics
- The reports raises concern, especially in the shadow of a 2015 salmonella outbreak involving contaminated cucumbers which left 900 people sick, 191 hospitalized, and six people dead.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 48 million foodborne illnesses resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths every year.
- It is estimated that there are 250 foodborne illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites.