Food Safety Legislation
On Jan. 4, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act.
The law requires FDA to issue regulations on the sanitary transportation of food no later than 18 months after the date of enactment. Although not finalized by the statutory deadline, FDA has started the process of developing these regulations, which could cover the transportation of grain from the farm to the first point of delivery.
The law also sets into motion new requirements for food product tracing. FDA contracted with the Institute of Food Technologists to conduct two product tracing pilot programs. The report on the traceability pilots was submitted to FDA in June 2012, with a proposed rule on traceability expected in January 2013.
However, since farms are not food facilities, they are not expected to create or maintain new records. During an active investigation of a foodborne illness outbreak, farms may be asked to identify potential immediate recipients of food.
The FDA is prohibited from implementing product-tracing requirements that would alter the normal practice of commingling of grains and grain products.