New federal guidelines will require hundreds of Iowa grain elevator operators to register with the Food and Drug Administration to thwart future acts of bioterrorism. Sam Beattie, an Iowa State University Extension specialist in food science, says virtually everyone who processes food, or holds or stores food or food ingredients will have to submit a completed form to the F-D-A stating what they do and what kind of food they process. He says at least 600 Iowa operations will be effected, perhaps more. The Bioterrorism Act of 2002 requires the F-D-A to develop mechanisms to protect the food supply. One component is registration of food and feed manufacturing, processing, holding and packing operations. Beattie says animal and pet food makers are also are included in the registration requirements. He says the F-D-A is trying to help ensure the food safety of the country by making sure any food that might have a potential risk of being contaminated by a bioterrorist — the processor will be informed they’re at risk and can take special precautions. The deadline to register is December 12th. Retail outlets like grocery stores, restaurants and most food service operations are exempt, as are farms and those facilities regulated by the U-S-D-A. No fee is required for registration. Online registration is available at “www.access.fda.gov/” or by calling the F-D-A directly at 800-216-7331.
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