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FDA Cites Its Food Safety Web Site
Date:7/28/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 reports of potentially hazardous food products were filed with the U.S. government's food safety Web site in its first seven months of operation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The Reportable Food Registry requires manufacturers, processors, packers and distributors to immediately report safety problems with food, animal feed and pet food that are likely to cause serious health problems. The registry was mandated by Congress in 2007, following a series of high-profile outbreaks of food-borne illnesses across the country.

"The registry was intended to give FDA the ability to identify problems of potential contamination of food and feed and to take action to prevent those incidents of contamination from actually reaching people and potentially causing illness," Michael R. Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods, said during an afternoon news conference.

Between September 2009, when the registry was launched, and March 2010, a total of 125 reports were received about food safety. These reports, in turn, generated an additional 1,638 reports from suppliers or recipients of a food or feed implicated in a report. The reports came from both domestic and foreign sources, the FDA said.

One report resulted in the recall last February of salmonella- contaminated hydrolyzed vegetable protein, a flavor enhancer, before any incidents of illness. The product is used in hundreds of food items, from hot dogs to dips and dressings, according to the agency.

Another report resulted in the November 2009 recall of products that contained sulfites not listed as ingredients on the package labels. People with an allergy or severe sensitivity to sulfites risk a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume such products.

Of the 125 initial reports, 37 percent were for Salmonella cont
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