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Part 2: History of Food Safety in the U.S. | Food Safety News

Food Safety News – October 13, 2014

Welcome to the second installment of the history of food safety in the U.S. This time we’ll take a look at food policy and legislation over time. As discussed in Part 1, the collection of foodborne illness data is relatively new. “The Jungle,” written by Upton Sinclair and published in February 1906, was a fictional novel that portrayed the lives of immigrants in industrialized cities of that time, but the book inadvertently raised public concern about the health, safety and sanitation practices of the Chicago meatpacking industry. Although the book was published as fiction, Sinclair spent nearly nine months in 1904, undercover, as an employee in a Chicago meatpacking plant.

Although the book was published as fiction, Sinclair spent nearly nine months in 1904, undercover, as an employee in a Chicago meatpacking plant.

Today, we have the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in 2011 and is considered the most significant food-safety legislation in more than 70 years. The major difference between this act and those of the past is that the focus has switched from responding, to contamination, to prevention. The law gives FDA authority to regulate the way foods are grown, harvested and processed. Although the act is still in its infancy, many are hoping to see fewer illness outbreaks in the future due to tighter regulations.

Stay tuned for Part 3 in this series where we’ll try to finally answer the question: Why do we hear more about food safety issues today compared to the past?

Read more from the source: Food Safety News