The house passed HR2749, Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 today by recorded vote: 283 – 142 (Roll no. 680). Representative Heller voted NO, while Representatives Titus and Berkeley voted YES. Passage of this bill represents the first major changes to food-safety laws in 70+ years. The Senate still has to pass its version of the bill before it can go to the president for signature.
Here’s a summary [from GovTrack] of what’s contained in HR 2749:
Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 – Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to set forth provisions governing food safety.
Requires each food facility to: (1) conduct a hazard analysis; (2) implement preventive controls; and (3) implement a food safety plan.
Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to: (1) issue science-based performance standards to minimize the hazards from foodborne contaminants; (2) establish science-based standards for raw agricultural commodities; (3) inspect facilities at a frequency determined pursuant to a risk-based schedule; (4) establish a food tracing system; (5) assess fees relating to food facility reinspection and food recall; and (6) establish a program for accreditation of laboratories that perform analytical testing of food for import or export.
Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) order an immediate cessation of distribution, or a recall, of food; (2) establish an importer verification program; and (3) quarantine food in any geographic area within the United States.
Defines the term “color additive” to include carbon monoxide that may affect the color of fresh meat, poultry products, or seafood.
Requires country of origin labeling on food and annual registration of importers.
Provides for unique identifiers for food facilities and food importers.
Deems a food to be adulterated if an inspection is delayed or refused.
Requires the Secretary to establish a corps of inspectors dedicated to inspections of foreign food facilities.
Sets forth provisions governing the reorganization of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) field laboratories and district offices.
Gives the Commissioner of Food and Drugs subpoena authority with respect to a food proceeding.
Establishes whistleblower protections.