Archive

ShareThis Page
FDA eyes new policy for naming retailers in food recalls | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

FDA eyes new policy for naming retailers in food recalls

Jeff Himler
| Thursday, September 27, 2018 1:54 p.m
278138gtrFDAlab092818
A technician works in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration lab.

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed new policy guidelines that would allow it in certain circumstances to publicize the names of retailers that have received shipments of recalled foods.

According to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the agency hasn’t released store names in the past in order to protect supply chain information that is confidential between the food supplier and the retailer. Also, he pointed out, other information released as part of an FDA recall – product descriptions, labeling information, lot numbers and geographic distribution – often are sufficient for consumers to determine if they’ve purchased recalled food.

But, there are instances when packaging alone doesn’t provide enough information in a recall, Gottlieb said in a Wednesday statement. That includes products that lack a bar code or are sold without packaging – such as deli cheese, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables sold individually and rawhide chews and pet treats sold in bulk.

Under its new draft guidance , the FDA may cite retailer names and locations in a recall announcement when “a recalled food is related to a food-borne illness outbreak and where the information is most useful to consumers,” Gottlieb said. “These circumstances will particularly apply in situations associated with the most serious recalls, where consumption of the food has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.

“Knowing where a recalled product was sold during the most dangerous food recalls can be the difference between a consumer going to the hospital or not.”

Gottlieb acknowledged that the FDA may “not be able to fully verify the accuracy or completeness of the information it receives from recalling companies or distributors, and information may change over time. Identifying retail locations can be complex. It can involve obtaining information from multiple parts of the supply chain, including the recalling company and intermediate distributors.”

The FDA moved toward the new policy this past summer when it released detailed retail distribution information by state during a recall of pre-cut melon associated with an outbreak of Salmonella infections.

The draft guidance is not yet official. Comments will be accepted at www.regulations.gov for 60 days.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.