Monday, December 11, 2006
Article in the New York Times -- Stronger Rules on Produce Likely After Outbreaks of E.Coli, by Andrew Martin:
With processed fresh produce like bagged salads and baby carrots growing in popularity in the past decade, the Food and Drug Administration realized as long ago as 2000 that recommendations for safe handling of the products were needed.
The agency went so far as to draft guidelines and kept the issue high on its priority list, but pressed by budget cuts and competing F.D.A. demands, the proposal languished.
Now, with the recent outbreaks of E.coli related to processed vegetables, the F.D.A.’s oversight of produce is likely to be treated with new urgency.
“I think it’s fairly clear that something needs to change,” said Dr. David Acheson, the chief medical officer for the F.D.A.’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Regulations for produce could be part of the changes, he said.