Tags: fda | food recall | delays | endanger | lives

Report: FDA Food Recall Delays Could Endanger Lives

Image: Report: FDA Food Recall Delays Could Endanger Lives
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 December 2017 09:44 AM

The Food and Drug Administration's recall process is too slow to ensure public safety, according to a report from the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, CBS News reports. 

The OIG examined 30 voluntary food recalls from October 2012 to May 2015, and found that the "FDA could not always ensure that firms initiated [food] recalls promptly."

Investigator George Nedder told CBS News: "Twenty-three of the 30 recalls we looked at were Class I. By definition, they can cause a serious, irreversible medical condition … or potentially can cause death."

In 2014, a salmonella outbreak was linked to nut butter. In the 165 days in between the connection being identified and the date of the product's recall, there were 14 illnesses in almost a dozen different states.

That same year, a listeria outbreak from cheese products took 81 days to resolve, in which time nine people became sick, including an infant who died and two pregnant women who lost their fetuses.

"We have to be planned and we have to prepare for the worst-case scenario. And that's why it's important for the FDA to drive the boat and always put themselves in position where they can use their authorities and force these recalls when necessary," Nedder added.

In another case, the FDA issued a Class I recall of a dietary supplement, but the firm that produced it "did not recall the product until 303 days after receiving a warning letter from FDA."

Nedder said: "At three places for one recall, that stuff was still on the shelf when they went out there 303 days later. That meant people could've been buying it up till that 303 days."

CBS News correspondent Anna Werner then asked: "So this product potentially jeopardized lives and they left it on shelves for close to a year?"

"That would be correct," Nedder said.

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The Food and Drug Administration's recall process is too slow to ensure public safety, according to a report from the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, CBS News reports.
fda, food recall, delays, endanger, lives
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2017-44-26
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 09:44 AM
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