09/09/2009 - The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday launched an electronic food registry for companies to quickly report potential food-borne illnesses to the federal government.
Food facilities must alert the FDA within 24 hours of finding any contaminant in a product that might severely sicken or kill people or animals. The system is intended to foster a quicker response to food-borne outbreaks, and was required under a 2007 law after the FDA was criticized for its response to a number of problems with food and drug safety.
After a spate of outbreaks involving peanuts and peanut products, spinach, cookie dough and hot peppers, among other items, consumers have been pressing for tougher regulation. A new poll commissioned by the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts released Tuesday found that 89% of likely voters want the federal government to adopt new food-safety measures, and 83% say the government should be responsible for ensuring food safety. The poll, conducted between June 29 and July 3 by Hart Research and Public Opinion Strategies, has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
Read the full article FDA Requires Faster Food-Safety Alerts on The Wall Street Journal's Web site.