FDA Gets One Month Extension for FSMA Rule
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a one month extension to propose new food safety rules, which are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), according to a November 6 blog post from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Originally, the FDA had until November 30, 2013 to propose new food safety rules to prevent intentionally-contaminated food from being imported into the U.S..
The revised deadline is December 20.
According to the law firm, “The FDA delay was due in part to the recent 16-day government shutdown, and in part because the agency would like to solicit more input from the industry before drafting its final guidelines. In response to the delay, which the FDA originally planned to push into 2015, a lawsuit was filed aiming to force the agency into proposing new rules.”
The Center for Environmental Health and the Center for Food Safety were identified as the two groups who filed the lawsuit against the FDA.
New Apps Offer Information on Food Safety, PET Bottle Recycling
Two innovative Irish environmental health graduates—Emer Murphy and Michael O’Rourke—are the creators of a free iPhone app called Safe Food, Healthy Business, designed to meet the needs of food industry professionals when it comes to food safety and legislation.
The app offers business owners information on food safety that is relevant and above what is considered “minimum” compliance.
Some of the features include guidelines for dealing with E. coli and food poisoning outbreaks; pest control identification and elimination; info on the latest food alerts; HACCP templates for compliance; and contact information related to food safety products and services.
The app is free to download from the Apple iTunes Store and is compatible with iPhones, iPads and iTouch models.
For its part, Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI) recently launched a free app for iPhone and Android users that calculates the recyclability of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, containers, and/or packages, allowing them to determine how compatible a specific package is with today’s recycling systems and its impact on recycled PET (rPET) production.
“The question that we all need to address is what is going to happen to that bottle or PET package when it is time to dispose of it? Can it be easily sorted using today’s manual and automated processes? Can it be turned into high quality rPET or will it contribute to the degradation of the recycled material supply,” posited PTI vice president Frank Schloss in a press release. “The only way for brand owners to really be able to claim that their package is fully recyclable and meets APR (Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers) guidelines is to subject it to testing that can support their position.”
Once installed, the app allows users to choose the PET resin type from listed options, indicate whether the package is multilayer, has additives, coatings, or labels; and indicate if containers have a closure, seal, other attachments and whether the containers float in water.
The free download is available in the iTunes App Store or Google Play by searching for “Recycle Calc” and looking for an icon with the familiar PETE resin identification logo.
Taiwan Initiating “Food Fraud” Team
Taiwanese government officials plan to form a cross-agency team to crack down on food fraud and boost inspections following a recent series of food safety scandals that have hurt consumer confidence domestically and abroad.
The team will include ministries of health, agriculture, justice, economic affairs and finance, as well as officials from the Taiwanese government’s consumer protection and fair trade agencies.
“High risk” foods on the team’s list include soy sauces, cooking oil, rice, bread, eggs, milk and food purchased through group-buying websites.