The FDA (The Food and Drug Administration) on Tuesday officially declared its electronic food registry for companies to immediately report potential food-borne illnesses to the federal government.
Food companies, as a result of legislation passed by Congress, must contact the FDA within 24 hours of finding out that their products might be infected with bacteria or a virus that could severely sicken or kill people or animals.
The system is intended to foster a quicker response to food-borne outbreaks and is part of the agency's efforts to prevent contaminated food from spreading throughout the country.
All food and animal feed companies will have to send the reports. Makers of infant formula and dietary supplements won't be subject to the requirement because they already report contamination problems to the FDA through a different electronic system, The Wall Street Journal reports.
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