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The Role of Consumer Advocacy in Strengthening Food Safety Policy

  • Patricia BuckEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)

Abstract

When Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906, he raised public concern about the health, safety, and sanitation practices of the meatpacking industry, which Congress quickly addressed by enacting the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. Since then, new food challenges have emerged as food production practices and longer supply chains evolved for a population demanding fresher food, more food eaten away from home, and more prepared food items for consumption at home. Late in the twentieth century, a large outbreak associated with E. coli O157:H7 spurred the federal government and its state partners to shift meat and poultry oversight away from a prescribed reactive approach to one that is more proactive and preventive and based on a science- and risk-based approach. Later, after repeated outbreaks associated with non-meat and poultry products, a similar effort was launched to provide stronger protections for other types of food. Consumer advocates made important contributions to secure the passage and implementation of both the 1996 Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Final Rule at USDA and the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act at FDA, and they have led the way in developing other protections, such as improved labeling for foods. As scientific knowledge improves our understanding of food safety hazards, there is much more to be done if we hope to meet the ongoing and future food challenges, in particular, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of foodborne bacteria.

Keywords

Antibiotic resistance Consumer advocacy Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Food policy Food safety reform Foodborne illness Mechanically tenderized beef PR/HACCP 

Abbreviations

AR

Antibiotic resistant

ARS

Agricultural Research Service

CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COB

Congressional Budget Office

ERS

Economic Research Service

FDA

Food and Drug Administration

FOOD

Foodborne Outbreak Online Database

FSIS

Food Safety Inspection Service

FSMA

Food Safety Modernization Act

GAO

Government Accountability Office

HHS

Health and Human Services

IFSAC

Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration

LTHO

Long-term health outcomes

MOFS

Make Our Food Safe coalition

MT

Mechanically tenderized

NGO

Nongovernmental organization

NNDSS

National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System

OIG

Office of Inspector General

OMB

Office of Management and Budget

PR/HACCP

Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points

SFC

Safe Food Coalition

USDA

US Department of Agriculture

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Foodborne Illness Research & PreventionGrove CityUSA

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