Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a final update about a recent foodborne illness outbreak of Salmonella infections from a contaminated raw tuna product that sickened 425 people in 28 states and the District of Columbia.
This case is yet another example of the need for strong food safety oversight. It has been more than 18 months since President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law, which is the first update to the nation’s food safety framework since the Great Depression. But despite broad bipartisan support for it, and a coalition of food safety advocates and industry representatives working for its enactment, important proposed regulations under the law have yet to be released.
One of the draft rules whose release has been delayed by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) includes a plan to improve safety of imported food – which accounts for about two-thirds of the fruits and vegetables – as well as 80 percent of the seafood consumed by Americans. Additional rules impacting oversight of domestic produce and processed foods are also pending.