A frankly distubring article today by Mary Clare Jalonik at the Associated Press. According to the article, FDA "conducted only about half the state food safety audits it promised in the two years before the recent peanut salmonella outbreak." Remarkably, the FDA conducted none of its required audits in five states during the 2007 and 2008 budget years. In addition, there were 11 more states where the FDA was "unable to say" whether audits had been conducted in that time. Included in those 11 were Georgia and Texas, site of the production of the peanut butter products recalled for salmonella contamination. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that if FDA couldn’t say whether or not they had done the audits, they probably weren’t done.
Recent events have made clear that the food safety regulations we have on the books are inadeuqate. When we (hopefully) enact some better food safety regulation, we also need to have a plan in place to ensure that those regulations are actually carried out.