Food Labelling Issues and the FDA in America

It’s more or less a given these days that when you purchase food in America, it will be safe to eat and of the highest possible quality. After all, we know that the producers and manufacturers of said food, such as the farmers and ranchers, are fully committed to producing safe, nutritious and affordable food not only to America, but to the wider world.

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As well as a wish to provide this food supply, the manufacturers of food also have an economic interest in their product demand, as consumer confidence drives this. Although consumer awareness of food safety has been increased in more recent years, a current point for discussion is whether the resources, authority and structural organisation required by the food safety system can actually protect consumers against contracting illnesses from food.

FDA 510k Clearance Submission

Most of the Government’s food and safety regulatory system is handled by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the Health and Human Services Department, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) within the Agriculture Department. The FDA ensures all domestic and imported food products are nutritious, safe and accurately labelled, whilst the FSIS inspects all livestock after slaughter before the meat makes it onto the supermarket shelves.

The FDA 510k clearance submission – a premarket submission made to the FDA to demonstrate that the food to be marketed is at least safe, effective and substantially equivalent, to a legally marketed device (21 CFR 807.92 (a)(3)) that is not subject to PMA – is one way to provide protection against contracting food borne illness. This submission also goes a long way to answer the question whether federal food safety laws have moved with the times relating to food production, processing and marketing, encompassing new food sources, production, technological and distribution advances. More information on this can be found at

FDA Food Safety Modernisation Act

This legislation was enacted by the President and approved by Congress in 2010, with the aim of improving food safety by taking advantage of existing systems within the private sector as a cooperative. Allowing for the authorisation of new resources to facilitate an increase in risk-based inspections, this legislation also allows for detailed research and training programs, with the ultimate aim of developing and implementing a pilot program for high-risk produce traceability.