A report was recently released that recommends the Food and Drug Administration communicate recalls better. The Government Accountability Office released the report in order to reform food safety, which they deem risky and requiring fixes. They noted in the report the FDA should protect health, and also understand that food recalls effect food industriues. “When [foodborne illness] outbreaks are discovered, prompt responses from government and companies in the food distribution chain–the network of handlers, suppliers, and others involved in the production of food–can play a vital role in stopping the spread of illnesses and keeping the food supply safe; delays can result in more illnesses, as well as deaths,” reads the report. “If unwarranted, however, advisories about adulterated or misbranded food products and recalls of those products can trigger serious economic losses for the food industry and discourage the consumption of healthful food, such as fresh produce.”
The report indicates the FDA should devise guidance on its authority concerning food safety, along with issuing details about how the recall process operates. The Food Safety Modernization Act gave the agency new control, which they rarely use. Most recalls are still voluntary. The FDA should provide details on its recall process along with timelines. They should also remain accurate and develop trust with the public, according to the report.