U.S. Issues New Food Security Regulations

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department yesterday issued two new regulations designed to better protect the U.S. food supply against terrorist attack (see GSN, Oct. 9).

One regulation requires food importers to provide the Food and Drug Administration with advance notice of shipments beginning Dec. 12, according to a Health and Human Services press release. Shipments arriving by road will have a deadline of two hours before arrival to provide such notification, shipments arriving by air or rail will have a deadline of four hours before arrival and shipments arriving by ship will have a deadline of eight hours before arrival. The FDA expects to receive about 25,000 notifications per day, according to the release.

The FDA plans to loosely enforce the advance notification rule for the first four months of implementation, the Health and Human Services release said. During that the time, the FDA and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection will work to educate food importers as to how to comply with the new regulation.

In addition, Health and Human Services yesterday also issued a new regulation requiring U.S. and international food production facilities to register with the FDA beginning Dec. 12. The FDA expects about 420,000 facilities to register, according to the release. 

“By requiring advance notice for imported food shipments and registering domestic and foreign food facilities, we are providing critical new tools for the FDA to identify potentially dangerous foods and better keep our food supply safe and secure,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said. “These new requirements represent the latest steps in our ongoing efforts to respond to new threats and improve the safety of all the foods that we eat in this country,” he said (U.S. Health and Human Services Department release, Oct. 9).

 

 

October 10, 2003
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The U.S. Health and Human Services Department yesterday issued two new regulations designed to better protect the U.S. food supply against terrorist attack (see GSN, Oct. 9).