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FDA Unveils Food Safety Action Plan

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has unveiled a Retail Food Safety Action Plan that seeks to promote food safety in retail stores, restaurants, schools and other foodservice operations.

In support for the plan, FDA said it has established a cooperative agreement with the National Association of County and City Health Officials to promote the use of best practices by local authorities and develop tools to strengthen retail food safety oversight.

Also in support of the plan, FDA issued a supplement to the 2009 FDA Food Code that includes a new recommendation that retail food establishments employ at least one certified food protection manager.

Other key changes to 2009 Food Code recommendations contained in the new supplement:

• Including the following among the duties of the person in charge: That all operating procedures required by the Food Code are developed and implemented; that it can be verified that all employees are informed about their obligation to report certain health conditions that relate to transmission of foodborne illness; and that any food the establishment receives after operating hours is delivered in a manner that does not create a food safety hazard.

• Requiring that food establishments have a plan for responding to and properly cleaning-up after an employee or other individual becomes physically ill in areas where food may be prepared, stored or served.

• Clarifying appropriate exceptions to the prohibition of bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods prepared in the establishment.

• Clarifying the requirements for the safe storage and display of ground and whole-muscle meat and poultry.

• New requirements for devices used to generate chemical sanitizers on- site in the food establishment.

• Establishing clearer guidelines for the amount time a food establishment should be given to correct violations of different types of provisions in the Food Code.

TAGS: Food Safety