The bill appears to be moving to a vote shortly after Summer Recess. If passed the bill would:
Hazard analysis and preventive controls: Requires facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food to have in place risk-based preventive control plans to address identified hazards and prevent adulteration, and gives FDA access to these plans and relevant documentation. These requirements do not apply to restaurants or most farms.
Imports: Requires importers to verify the safety of foreign suppliers and imported food. Allows FDA to require certification for high-risk foods, and to deny entry to a food that lacks certification or that is from a foreign facility that has refused U.S. inspectors. Creates a voluntary qualified importer program in which importers with a certification of safety for their foreign supplier can pay a user-free for expedited entry into the U.S.
Inspection: Gives FDA additional resources to hire new inspectors and requires FDA to inspect food facilities more frequently.
Mandatory Recall Authority: Gives FDA the authority to order a mandatory recall of a food product if the food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death and a company has failed to voluntarily recall the product upon FDA’s request.
Regulatory Balance: Achieves new requirements without being excessively burdensome. The legislation provides training for facilities to come into compliance with new safety requirements and includes special accommodations for small businesses and farms. It does not interfere with current organic farming practices and does not change the current definition of farm under the 2002 Bioterrorism Act. Any farm that is not currently required to register with FDA will not be required to do so under this legislation.
Surveillance: Enhances surveillance systems to detect food-borne illnesses.
Traceback: Requires FDA to establish a pilot project to test and evaluate new methods for rapidly tracking foods in the event of a food-borne illness outbreak.
Increased FDA Resources: Increases funding for FDA’s food safety activities through increased appropriations and targeted fees for food facility reinspection, food recalls, and the voluntary qualified importer program.