San Fernando Valley legislator proposes requirements for inspection, disclosure.
In an effort to protect consumers, legislation has been introduced in Sacramento
to require state government inspections of food production and processing
light of the current recall of millions of pounds of pistachios and considering
the recall of peanut butter, spinach, peppers and tomatoes, Assemblyman Mike Feuer
of Los Angeles introduced legislation that would require food processors to adopt
detailed plans to ensure their products are safe; periodic agency testing of
food at California’s food processing facilities and requiring food processing
establishments to report to state authorities within 24 hours any positive test
result for a dangerous contaminant.
Consumers may not realize that food companies are not required to recall
tainted products, and current recalls were done voluntarily. In the pistachio
case, it was not the processing plant that reported the salmonella
contamination, but the distributor that used pistachios in its products.
"Families must be able to trust that the food they eat is safe,” Feuer
said. “This legislation will close significant gaps in laws governing food inspections,
testing and reporting of contamination. We owe it to California's
consumers, and the food industry that is so critical to our economy, to prevent
the next crisis rather than react after people get sick."
Feuer said the legislation could also protect other entities, such as
farmers and distributors which lose money because of a recall, including
workers who lose jobs either temporarily or permanently.