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United States’ Food Supply Safety Essay

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The food supply of the Unites States is safe from contamination. This is evident through the regular surveillance and other efforts done by the authorities to keep the safety of the nation’s food supply especially from contamination. The safety of the food supplies starts at the farm and not in the grocery stores.

According to the article of Sharon Durham in Agricultural Research entitled Food safety in the 21st century: Coordinated Monitoring of Animal Health, in the year 2003, the Agricultural Research Service or ARS as well as two other agencies under the US Department of Agriculture or USDA started a combined effort in protecting the health of the livestock of America as well as ensuring the safety of the food supply (Durham, 1).

This research gives way of tracing the critical diseases in food production that involves animals.

In addition, it improves general understanding of factors that causes food safety risks such as those in plants and other manufacturing plants. Also, scientific examinations help detect contamination at vital points in food production (Apgar, 1).

On the other hand, the National Animal Health Monitoring System or NAHMS performs surveillance that seeks to identify as well as tackle animal health and food safety matters of major concern. Also, the US Customs and Border Protection or CBP and the Food and Drug Administration or FDA initiated new joint efforts in protecting the food supply of the nation.

Through the Memorandum of Understanding or MOU signed last December 2003, the Customs agents are now allowed to examine foods that are imported to the United States (FDA Consumer, 1). Furthermore, the CBP and FDA issued a policy guide that tells their strategy in maintaining the continuous flow of food imports while increasing their safety. The policy guide deals with enforcing two regulations. These are first, it require an advance notice to the FDA for shipments of imported foods into the country.

Second , it requires a registration with the FDA of local as well as overseas facilities such as manufacturing, processing, packing and holding services for consumption in the United States. These rules aim to boost the security in the supply chain yet it also involves additional cost and difficulty to transporters (Albright, 1). Meanwhile, the government seeks to enhance standards for industries to get extra money for bigger examination to improve the security of government amenities.

National agencies such as Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DOD), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are working together on bio-security plan. In addition, the EPA makes sure the safety of the water supply even from the terrorist attacks. The agency together with local water utilities performs evaluation of susceptibilities, to stiffen security within the vicinity of the facilities, to improve emergency response plans whenever attacks occur (Chapman, 1).

Anyway, the food industry has been working vigorously also in ensuring the safety of the food supplies. There are several associations that participated in the Alliance for Food Security. They conduct meetings together with government agencies directing food security concern. The industry is sharing methods that a lot of companies are getting to improve their security, to full background checks on employees especially the new ones, and to limit the employees who have access to main zone of the facilities. Some members of the industry have worked strongly with the aforesaid government agencies to address queries concerning food.

The FDA has the direct liability for guaranteeing the safety of the food products while CDC leads in conducting disease surveillance. They keep an eye on the occurrence of sickness in the US that is attributable to the supply of food. Moreover, programs such as the annual Food Safety Summit and Expo that is sponsored by National Food Processors Association and the National Restaurant Association help the tighten the security of the entire nation’s food network. Strategies to prevent intentional as well as unintentional food contamination are being laid out during this annual activity (Prewitt, 1).

The food industry, itself, has its own programs in keeping the safety of the food supply and this id done in cooperation with the different companies. For instance is the Supplier Audits for Food Excellence or SAFE Program which is initiated through the assistance of more than two-dozen member companies (Johnston, 1). Further, the technological advancements today are a big help when it comes to ensuring the safety of the country’s food supply. The flourishing field of genetic engineering has started changing the daily American diet.

Biotechnology has provided us with progress like foods with improved nutritional content and this time, FDA is controlling new food products to ensure their safety.

References:

Durham Sharon. “Food safety in the 21st century: coordinated monitoring of animal health”. Agricultural Research. October 2006. Available: http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m3741/is_10_54/ai_n16807530, http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m3741/is_10_54/ai_n16807530/pg_2. March 2, 2007. “Agencies team up to protect food supply – U. S. Customs and Border Protection”. FDA Consumer. March-April 2004.

Available: http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m1370/is_2_38/ai_114242021. March 2, 2007. Albright, Brian. “New cargo security regulations: present challenges to shippers, carriers: advance manifest and food safety rules could increase safety—and cost—of cross-border shipments – Supply Chain Management”. Frontline Solutions. February 2004. Available: http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0DIS/is_2_5/ai_113907155, http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0DIS/is_2_5/ai_113907155/pg_2. March 2, 2007. Chapman, Nancy. “Industry secures food supply”. Prepared Foods. January 2002.

Available: http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m3289/is_1_171/ai_81861689. March 2, 2007. Apgar, Toni. “A call to action-food poisoning and food supply safety”. Vegetarian Times. November 1996. Available: http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0820/is_n231/ai_18810447. March 2, 2007. Prewitt, Mildred. “Safety summit: Securing U. S. food supply an uphill battle; Contamination and bioterror hot topics – Food Safety Summit and Expo – Legal Beat”. Nation’s Restaurant News. March 25, 2002. Available: http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_12_36/ai_84237780, http://www.

findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_12_36/ai_84237780/pg_2. March 2, 2007. Johnston, Kelly. “Safety with a good bottom line – Formulation & Ingredient Challenges – Food safety”. Prepared Foods. March 2002. Available: http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m3289/is_3_171/ai_83744775. March 2, 2007 Young, Frank E. “Safety first: protecting America’s food supply – FDA’s Year of Foods”. FDA Consumer. July-August 1988. Available: http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m1370/is_n6_v22/ai_6589510, http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m1370/is_n6_v22/ai_6589510/pg_2. March 2, 2007

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