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USDA Proposes to Share Confidential Company Data in Food Recall Cases.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service proposed that it would share with other regulators such confidential information as company distribution lists when it conducts recalls of meat, poultry and egg products. Sources say under the proposal, states will be able to immediately receive distribution information on a recalled product, making it easier for a state to work with retailers and wholesalers to get the product of the market. Regulators receiving the information, however, would have to sign a confidentially agreement. "Sharing recall information helps all government agencies involved work together more professionally to ensure the effectiveness of a recall," Thomas Billy, head of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, said in a statement. The goal is better consumer protection from foodborne illness, improved public health and more efficient government, Billy added.

The proposal comes after the General Accounting Office issued a report criticizing USDA and FDA for failing to adequately track food recalls and ensuring that food companies or meatpackers carry out recalls promptly.
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Comment:USDA Proposes to Share Confidential Company Data in Food Recall Cases.
Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 25, 2000
Previous Article:USDA and FDA Need to Track Food Recalls Better, GAO Says.
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