The US Food and Drug Administration will begin notifying food companies in writing before demanding records in an emergency.

Under the US Biosecurity Act – implemented following the attacks of 11 September 2001 – inspectors have expanded access to company records if there is reasonable belief that their food products entered the marketplace and could cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.

After determining that a food product poses a serious health risk, FDA personnel will now submit written notices to obtain relevant records, so that food companies will know that a review goes beyond a routine inspection. Previously, companies were often not told why their records were being searched.