Sunday, October 22, 2006

FDA unable to reach food safety emergency contact people in one third of test attempts

From Libby Quaid of the Associated Press (via Ag Weekly on October 20):
WASHINGTON — A warning system meant to alert food companies in the event of a food poisoning outbreak failed one-third of the time in a recent government test.

The Food and Drug Administration was able to reach an emergency contact for a food facility in every two out of three cases.

Developed in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, the system is supposed to help the government track the source of an outbreak of foodborne illness and help notify companies that might be affected.“As a result of this test, FDA believes that it is imperative that immediate steps be taken by FDA and owners, operators and agents in charge of domestic and foreign registered facilities to improve the accuracy of the information in the Food Facility Registration Database,” the agency said.
FDA's report was posted to the agency website on October 12.