Product recalls are not uncommon in Virginia. Particularly with food products, companies frequently distribute food that is not safe for human consumption. This food can cause serious injuries including hospitalizations and death. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, thousands of people are killed each year because of food borne illness. Additionally, one in six people in the U.S. will suffer from a food borne illness each year.
In order to reduce the risk of injuries to people throughout the United States, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act. This act was passed in December 2010 and helps to prevent the spread of contaminated food throughout the country. With this legislation in place, regulators can focus on preventing food borne illness outbreaks instead of just responding to them after people have already been hurt.
In particular, this act allows the FDA to enact prevention-based methods of control over the food supply system. This includes establishing food safety rules that aim to prevent illnesses. The act mandates that these rules be scientifically based rules affecting the harvesting of fruits and vegetables and the production of other food. This rule also gives the FDA the power to inspect manufactures to ensure compliance with food safety rules.
In addition to food produced within the United States, this act also gives the FDA the power to inspect food entering the country. With around 15 percent of U.S. food being imported, the FDA is allowed to make sure that international manufacturers meet safety requirements.
When people are injured by contaminated food or other hazardous consumer products, product liability laws allow people to collect compensation. An attorney can help people understand their legal rights.