New food safety guidelines expected after spike in meat and poultry recalls

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By Reuters

The U.S. government plans to issue new guidelines for food companies as early as this week after an increase in recalls of meat and poultry products possibly containing metal, plastic and other foreign materials, a food-safety official said on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will advise food makers to start internal investigations when they receive customer complaints and to notify the government within 24 hours if contaminated products are in the marketplace, Carmen Rottenberg, administrator of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, said in an interview.

The voluntary guidelines, in the works for months, are designed to ensure companies meet pre-existing regulatory requirements, she said.