Peanut butter recalled, food safety finances slashed

Health and Diet

Before you make your next PBJ sandwich, make sure you read this. CC by Like_the_Grand_Canyon/Flickr

Every month, the Food and Drug Administration heads up hundreds of small recalls. Several recalls go unnoticed, but the most recent peanut butter recall – 2011′s Skippy recall – is calling attention to another problem with the federal spending budget. Despite several safety recalls, the Food and Drug Administration and United States Department of Agriculture are facing severe financing reductions.


2011 Peanut Putter Recall – Already


Skippy is expected to lose 50-million-dollars in the latest recall, and about 16 states were impacted by it. There are 2 peanut butter spreads that may have some salmonella bacteria in them; the Skippy Reduced Fat Super Chunk and Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy. The recall consists of 16.3 ounce plastic jars that use the UPC numbers 048001006812 and 048001006782. Unilever, a manufacturing company for Skippy, was found to have the contaminated product and is working closely with the FDA to rectify the situation.


Food safety funding


In a new bill signed into law last year, the Food and Drug Administration received more power. Now the FDA will be allowed to require a recall themselves instead of just working with businesses to get a recall to the community. New inspectors were employed by the Food and Drug Administration due to the food budget. Along with these new regulations, the FDA also received a higher budget to implement the changes. It seems the funding for these changes might not last, together with USDA funding. With financial cuts, things like the safety and quality of meat might decline. Because Congress is also calling for additional reductions to the spending budget of the Food and Drug Administration, many new food safety initiatives might wind up unenforceable. With more than 3,000 fatalities each year attributed to tainted food, the consequences of the lack of financing are urgent and serious. Some even say that the main reason for the recall was because some employees didn’t wear an n95 mask while working.


The fundamental issue with food safety


The U.S. has to figure out something for funding food safety. It’s hard to figure out. The food and narcotic safety in the U.S. are taken care of by the FDA which means there is always a lot going on and being worked with. The U.S. Department of Agriculture helps with food safety too, along with 14 other agencies. You will find also many government officials that keep track of this in the state and cities. A significant percentage of sales are lost by small farms, farmer’s markets and local food due to these regulations. Each food-safety recall pulls millions of dollars out of the safety budget and the economy in general, however reforming the system will take political, social and economic changes that could prove overwhelming.

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