One Step Closer: Food and Drug Administration Hearings Highlight Progress on Food Safety

In a series of public meetings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reached out to stakeholders for their comments on the proposed FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules, which were released by the agency this year. On Sept. 19 and 20, a public hearing took place in Washington on draft rules concerning food shipped to the United States. Once finalized, the rules will hold foreign and domestic suppliers to the same safety standards. At the Sept. 19 hearing on Capitol Hill, six Americans who have been sickened by contaminated food delivered testimony about their experiences.

Among those who testified, one person was sickened by Listeria monocytogenes traced back to imported ricotta salata cheese from Italy. The 2012 outbreak affected 22 people in 13 states and the District of Columbia, and four related deaths were reported. Five people who fell ill as a result of hepatitis A contamination in pomegranate seeds shipped from Turkey also testified. The outbreak sickened 161 Americans in 10 states.

Additional meetings on the proposed import rules will take place Oct. 10 and 11 in Miami and Oct. 22 and 23 in Long Beach, CA.

In February and March, the agency provided an opportunity for public comment on proposed rules to establish produce safety standards to minimize contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables and develop prevention-based requirements for processed foods, such as cookie dough and peanut butter. Meetings were held Feb. 28 and March 1 in Washington; March 11 and 12 in Chicago; and March 27 and 28 in Portland, OR.


Washington, D.C. Hearings

September 19-20, 2013

Proposed Rules on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs and the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies

Victim Testimonies

behnke-100   Merrill Behnke rad-100   Claudine Rad
dexter-100   Virginia Dexter sirles-100   Polly Sirles
laychak-100   Mary Beth Laychak  walters-100   Mike Walters

Portland Hearings

March 27-28, 2013

Proposed Rules to Establish Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption and for Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food  

Victim Testimonies

bernstein-75   Samantha Bernstein gustafson-75   Rylee Gustafson
almer-100   Jeff Almer FS_exley_75x75   Jennifer Exley
almer-100   Chrissy Christoferson      


Chicago Hearings

March 11-12, 2013

Proposed Rules to Establish Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption and for Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food 

Victim Testimonies

FSP_donley_75   Nancy Donley FSP_moskowitz_75   Margo Moskowitz

FSP_costello_ken_75FSP_costello_polly_75   Ken and Polly Costello FSP_meunier_75   Gabrielle Meunier

Related: Estimate: 1 in 6 Americans Will Get Food Poisoning This Year


Washington, D.C. Hearings

February 28 & March 1, 2013

Proposed Rules to Establish Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption and for Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food

Expert Testimony

FS_eskin_mug_75   Sandra Eskin, project director of the food safety campaign at The Pew Charitable Trusts

Victim Testimony 

Read the testimony from some of the foodborne illness victims who spoke in Washington, D.C.:

FS_armstrong_mug_75   Elizabeth Armstrong   FS_bush_mug_75   Lauren Bush FS_napier_mug_75   Randy Napier (son of Nellie Napier)
FS_bernstein_mug_75   Larry and Rita Bernstein   FS_dana_mug_75   Dana Dziadul FS_schwarz_mug_75   Paul Schwarz