S.3358 - Improving Food-borne Illness Surveillance and Response Act of 2008
A bill to provide for enhanced food-borne illness surveillance and food safety capacity.
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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. ENHANCED FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS SURVEILLANCE.
(1) AUTHORITY- The Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in this section as the ‘Secretary’) shall strengthen and expand food-borne illness surveillance systems to--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS OUTBREAK- For purposes of this section, the term ‘food-borne illness outbreak’ means the occurrence of 2 or more cases of a similar illness resulting from the ingestion of a common food.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Food-Borne Illness Surveillance Systems- The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shall enhance food-borne illness surveillance systems to improve the collection, analysis, reporting, and usefulness of data on food-borne illnesses by--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) facilitate sharing of data acquisition and findings on a more timely basis among governmental agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, and State and local agencies, and with the public;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) developing improved epidemiological tools for obtaining quality exposure data, microbiological methods for classifying cases and detecting clusters, and improved tracebacks to rapidly and specifically identify contaminated food products;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) expanding capacity of such systems for implementation of fingerprinting strategies for food-borne infectious agents, including parasites and hepatitis A, in order to increase pathogen discovery efforts to identify new or rarely documented causes of food-borne illness;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) identify food-borne illness outbreaks and attribute such outbreaks to specific foods through submission of standardized molecular subtypes (also known as ‘fingerprints’) of food-borne illness pathogens to a centralized database; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(9) establishing a flexible mechanism for rapidly supporting scientific research by academic centers of excellence, which may include staff representing academic clinical researchers, food microbiologists, animal and plant disease specialists, ecologists, and other allied disciplines.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Improving State Surveillance Capacity- The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, shall improve capacity for surveillance in the States by--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) supporting outbreak investigations with needed specialty expertise, including epidemiological, microbiological, and environmental expertise, to assist identification of underlying common sources and contributing factors;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) conducting rapid and more standardized interviewing of cases associated with major enteric pathogens, including prior to designation of clusters as food-borne illness outbreaks;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) developing, regularly updating, and disseminating training curricula on food-borne illness surveillance investigations, including standard sampling methods and laboratory procedures;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) integrating new molecular diagnostic tools for parasites into web-based consultation services for parasitic infections to accelerate the identification of these food-borne infectious agents;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) supporting research to develop and deploy new subtyping methods for salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter, and other pathogens, to increase the speed and accuracy of diagnoses;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(8) providing technical assistance, which may include the detailing of officers and employees of the Secretary, to State and local public health and food regulatory agencies;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(9) partnering with the Food and Drug Administration to increase communication, coordination, and integration of food-borne illness surveillance and outbreak investigation activities; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Partnerships- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Improving Food-borne Illness Surveillance and Response Act of 2008, the Secretary shall establish a diverse working group of experts and stakeholders from Federal, State, and local food safety and health agencies, the food industry, consumer organizations, and academia. Such working group shall provide the Secretary, through at least annual meetings of the working group and an annual public report, advice and recommendations on an ongoing and regular basis regarding the improvement of food-borne illness surveillance and implementation of this section, including advice and recommendations on--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) the priority needs of regulatory agencies, the food industry, and consumers for information and analysis on food-borne illness and its causes that can be used to prevent food-borne illness;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) opportunities to improve the effectiveness of initiatives at the Federal, State, and local levels, including coordination and integration of activities among Federal agencies, and between the Federal, State, and local levels of government;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) improvement in the timeliness and depth of access by regulatory and health agencies, the food industry, academic researchers, and consumers to food-borne illness surveillance data collected by government agencies at all levels, including data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) specific actions to reduce barriers to improvement, implement the working group’s recommendations, and achieve the purposes of this section, with measurable objectives and timelines, and identification of resource and staffing needs.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. LEVERAGING AND ENHANCING STATE AND LOCAL ROLES.
‘PART S--PROGRAMS RELATING TO FOOD
‘SEC. 399JJ. PLAN TO IMPROVE FOOD SAFETY CAPACITY AT THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL.
‘(a) Goals- The Secretary shall leverage and enhance the food safety capacity and roles of State and local agencies and integrate State and local agencies as fully as possible into national food safety efforts, in order to achieve the following goals:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(4) Strengthen the capacity of State and local agencies to carry out inspections and enforce safety standards in food processing establishments, as part of a national strategy and plan to provide an adequate level of inspection and achieve compliance with safety standards in such establishments.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(b) Survey- In preparation for development of the plan required by subsection (c), the Secretary shall, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Improving Food-borne Illness Surveillance and Response Act of 2008, complete a survey of State and local capacities, and needs for enhancement, with respect to--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(c) Plan- Taking into account the goals established in subsection (a), results from the survey required in subsection (b), and consultations with State and local agencies and other food safety stakeholders, the Secretary shall, not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Improving Food-borne Illness Surveillance and Response Act of 2008, develop, publish, and begin implementation of a plan that includes the following elements:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(3) Action plans for meeting the highest priority capacity needs, including budget requirements and financing plans that take into account Federal, State, and local resources.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(4) Improved coordination and information flow among Federal, State, and local agencies to strengthen food-borne illness surveillance, outbreak response, and investigation and to ensure that agencies at all levels have the information on origins and causes of food-borne illness that such agencies need to plan preventive measures.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(5) Integration of the inspection and compliance programs in food processing establishments of the Food and Drug Administration and State and local agencies, including--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(A) joint planning and priority setting to ensure that the collective effort has the greatest possible impact on achieving compliance with food safety standards and reducing food-borne illness;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(B) elimination of barriers to the free flow of information among the Food and Drug Administration and State and local agencies with respect to inspection and compliance programs and integration of State and Federal inspection and laboratory data systems;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall make grants to State and local agencies to enhance State and local food safety capacity and programs and support achievement of the goals established in subsection (a). In awarding such grants, the Secretary shall take into account the criteria and priorities established by the Secretary under subsection (c).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(e) Report to Congress- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Improving Food-borne Illness Surveillance and Response Act of 2008, and on an annual basis thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that describes--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink