The Food Safety Modernization Act (“Act”) is a federal statute that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 4, 2011. The Act aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it.
The Act authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase inspections of many domestic food facilities, enhance detection of food borne illness outbreaks, and order recalls of tainted food products. The Act also requires most food companies to write and implement new safety protocols to mitigate potential hazards.
Additionally, the Act mandates increased scrutiny for imported food products. Some food product are denied entry into the U.S. under certain circumstances. The law also contains a food safety whistleblower provision designed to encourage employee reporting of food safety concerns and protect the whistleblower from retaliation by the whistleblower's employer.