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Senator Ted Kennedy, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), has circulated a draft food safety title of legislation on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which includes four broad categories: Preventing Food-borne Illness, Intervention, Response to Unsafe Foods and Enhancing Capacity.
Similar to the Dingell draft legislation, the Kennedy draft would also require any facility required to register their facility with the FDA to conduct a hazard analysis to identify intentional and unintentional hazards reasonably likely to occur for foods the facility makes and develop and implement risk-based preventive controls to prevent, eliminate or reduce them.
The draft bill would also give the FDA the authority to establish performance standards for addressing hazards.
The FDA-registered facilities would be inspected every two years and the FDA would be required to provide a report on the food facility inspections carried out. Facilities would apply voluntarily for certification, with certifications lasting one year, a term which could, under certain circumstances, be extended to two or three years for some facilities.
The proposal would require an importer to have a program to verify that its foreign supplier meets the FDA standards, including standards for hazard analysis and preventive controls and fresh produce standards. The requirement applies one year after enactment, two years after enactment for businesses with revenues below $5 million and three years after enactment for firms with revenues below $1 million.