The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it has finalized a rule that will allow for a wide variety of raw food items to be available on food-grade packaging, including: meat, poultry, seafood, seafood-based items, dairy, and even some processed foods like meatballs, crackers, and cookies.
The FDA will soon begin rolling out its final rule to allow these items to make their way onto grocery store shelves, as well as other retailers.
The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2015 passed in Congress in 2015 has been hailed as the “gold standard” for raw food regulations, but the FDA’s move will be one of the most significant steps in the raw food revolution.
“The FDA is very committed to bringing the full range of raw foods to the marketplace,” said Richard C. Taylor, vice president of food safety and nutrition at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
“The Food Safety Innovation Act of 2014, the agency’s blueprint for modernizing the food supply, will help ensure that consumers and farmers can enjoy raw food products as well.”
While the FDA has not finalized its rule, the FDA did announce that it will open a public comment period on the proposed rule.
The agency hopes to begin reviewing the comments during the first quarter of 2019.
In addition to the FDA, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) also issued a draft rule this week that will expand on the agency proposal, as it will allow organic food products to be on grocery store display shelves.
According to the NOSB, this is “the first time in the past 25 years that organic food has been on grocery shelves and will greatly enhance the consumer experience.”
The NOSBs draft rule will allow farmers to offer their products on grocery displays at no additional cost.
Additionally, organic foods will be allowed on the shelves of health food stores, including farmers markets, health food supplement stores, and the national organic grocery chain.
While the USDA’s final rule is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2019, the new rule is still being debated in Congress, which is expected soon after.
According to a recent poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, 72 percent of Americans favor allowing raw foods on grocery stores.
A recent survey conducted by Consumers Union found that 71 percent of consumers favor allowing “clean” foods on store shelves.
According the NISP, more than 75 million Americans rely on food stamp programs to support their families, and according to a survey by The Washington Post, 70 percent of households receive food stamps in some form.
The survey also found that 70 percent or more Americans would rather have “organic” foods in their homes, compared to the 70 percent that favor “organic.”