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New York commitment - ensuring safe food supply

New York commitment - ensuring safe food supply

By Blake Jackson

New York celebrates World Food Safety Day by highlighting its commitment to a safe food supply for all residents. The Departments of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) and Health (DOH) work together to ensure food safety through inspections, testing, and collaboration.

AGM inspectors visit over 35,000 establishments like grocery stores and food processors annually. They check for proper food handling, storage temperatures, and sanitary practices to prevent foodborne illness. In 2023 alone, AGM conducted inspections, collected food samples for testing, investigated consumer complaints, and verified product labeling. Their efforts resulted in food recalls and seizures to remove unsafe products from shelves.

The state-of-the-art New York State Food Laboratory plays a vital role. Scientists analyze nearly 20,000 food and beverage samples annually, testing for contaminants that could cause illness.

These tests can lead to Class I, II, or III food recalls, which are published online for consumer awareness. DOH and local health departments further contribute by inspecting restaurants, food trucks, and school cafeterias.

New York also focuses on dairy product safety. AGM dairy specialists inspect farms and processing plants, ensuring they meet sanitation and quality standards. Over 15,000 dairy product samples were sent for testing in 2023.

Inspectors prioritize preventing harmful pathogens from entering the food system through measures like milk pasteurization, which eliminates bacteria responsible for various illnesses.

New York leadership in food safety extends beyond its borders. AGM and DOH teams are called upon by other states and the federal government to assist in food safety investigations.

For example, they aided in the recent multi-state recall of applesauce pouches containing high levels of lead. Additionally, the state has proposed stricter national limits for heavy metals in spices, demonstrating its commitment to consumer protection.

AGM and DOH staff hold leadership positions in national food safety organizations. This ensures New York's voice is heard in national conversations about food safety best practices.

World Food Safety Day serves as a reminder of the importance of a safe food supply. New York's ongoing efforts through inspections, testing, collaboration, and leadership positions solidify its commitment to protecting the health of its residents.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-fatcamera

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Categories: New York, Government & Policy

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