Tomatoes called likely source in Salmonella outbreak

Jul 22, 2003 (CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has contracted with the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) to conduct a thorough inventory of steps food processors can take to prevent intentional food contamination.

The IFT will gather information about temperature and chemical treatments and other technological tools for reducing the risk of food contamination by terrorist or criminals, the FDA said. Based in Chicago, the IFT is an international organization of about 28,000 food science and technology specialists.

"This contract with a nationally recognized group of experts will help FDA make the nation's food supply even more secure," said FDA Commissioner Mark B. McClellan, PhD, in an FDA news release.

The review will focus on preventive controls and on research needs related to preventing contamination, the FDA said. The review is expected to be finished by June 2004. Discussions involved in the review will be confidential, and some of the information gathered could be classified to protect national security, the agency said.

The effort will complement the FDA's existing food security guidelines and proposed regulations, officials said. Last March the FDA published security guidelines for food processors, transporters, importers, and retailers. The guidelines focused on security measures related to management, staff, visitors, facilities, and operations.

See also:

FDA's March 19 announcement of food security guidelines, with links to guidelines documents
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Defense_&_Emergency_Response/Keep_Americas_Food_Safe/index.asp

Institute of Food Technologists site
http://www.ift.org/

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