The just-food briefing - the food safety challenge
The safety of food has made headlines in Europe and the US in 2011. A fatal E. coli outbreak in Germany hit the produce sector across the EU, while in the US, Washington is looking to reform the country's food safety network. This briefing looks at the challenges companies and regulators face in improving traceability in the supply chain.
On both sides of the Atlantic, 2011 has proved to be a significant year with regard to food safety. This month's just-food briefing examines the response to the E. coli outbreak in the EU, the reforms instituted in the US under the Food Safety Modernization Act, and looks at the challenges food companies and regulators face in improving traceability in the supply chain.
This has been a momentous year regarding food safety in the US not because of any single, high-profile contamination but because the country has witnessed the first comprehensive reform of its food safety laws for 70 years.
US reform of the country's food safety network is aimed at making the Food and Drug Administration focus more on prevention, rather than being a reactive on the issue. This part of the just-food briefing looks at the problems of passing and implementing the planned reforms.
The E. coli outbreak in the EU this year brought a stark reminder of how important accurate traceability is in modern food supply chains, and also suggested that the current level of traceability capability in the supply chain is below what might be expected.
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