...we must improve public education and ensure that information about food-borne illnesses and recalls are distributed accurately and efficiently. I am authoring the Consumer Recall Notification Act – legislation that would improve communication among states, state and local health departments, food distributors and vendors to provide consumers with faster and more complete information. For example, we must post all recall notices on the very grocery store shelves and freezers where a recalled product would have been bought. This will help consumers receive vital information in a timely manner.
We need to do a better job of catching contaminated food before it ever comes close to a kitchen table, a school cafeteria or a restaurant. It’s imperative that parents throughout the country have confidence that the food they serve their kids at home and the food they’re getting at school are safe.
- Notify Consumers
- Stores that track purchases through customer loyalty cards or membership programs would be required to notify consumers when they have purchased a recalled product;
- Distribute Information to Restaurants and Food Retailers
- Facilities that have distributed foods subject to a Class I recall would be required to notify stores and restaurants within 24 hours of the public announcement of the recall. The FDA would also be required publish a list online of all stores and restaurants that received contaminated products, which in turn must then post notices where the contaminated product was sold so that consumers can be alerted that they may have purchased a recalled product.
- Distribute Information to Health Workers
- When there is a Class I recall, the FDA would be required to distribute advisories to States, local health departments and frontline health professionals, which include a list of symptoms to look out for and test for in order to diagnose food-borne illness.