NY Lawmaker: Feds Too Slow Getting Bad Food off Shelves
A top New York lawmaker say the feds are too slow getting bad foods off supermarket shelves adding the “food recall process is one big mess.”
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for major changes to the FDA food recall process. Calling it a recipe for disaster, Schumer says the public deserves to have better protection from contaminated foods.
Schumer wants the FDA to conduct a top to bottom review of the process with an eye towards speeding things up, something he says could save lives. Schumer spoke out following a recently released Inspector General's report that says the agency takes far too long to initiate food recalls.
“Delays in getting bad food off store shelves is just a recipe for disaster,” Schumer stated. “That’s why the FDA must come to the table with a healthy, new plan, detailing how they will revamp and execute a reformed food recall process. One that gets potentially contaminated food off the shelves before Americans risk getting sick, not after. We expect our everyday food purchases from the local supermarket to be safe to eat, but following a recent Inspector General’s report, it appears many Americans are getting a sour deal and sour stomachs. The food recall process too slow and unduly exposes countless Americans to food that can make them sick – or even kill them. In some cases, the FDA waits months before issuing recalls on potentially contaminated food products. That’s why I’m urging the FDA to conduct a top-to-bottom review of their contaminated food recall process with an eye towards speeding things up.”
According to Schumer, this week an additional 15 million pounds of flour was recalled due to a 21-state E.coli outbreak. The first confirmed case of the outbreak began in December 2015, but the first mandatory recall wasn’t issued until May 2016.
According to the FDA, since May 31st, there have been at least 57 recalled products issued due to listeria, salmonella and other bacteria. Recalled products include: cheese, frozen vegetables, cereal, biscuit mix, cake mix, sunflower seeds, raw macadamias, granola bars, rice, ice cream, and more. According to the CDC, approximately one in six Americans or 48 million people get food poisoning each year.