Food Safety Back in the Spotlight

March 17, 2009
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

President Obama’s remarks during his latest radio and video address that the nation’s food safety system is a “hazard to public health” have caused heads to turn (and perhaps in some instances, roll) for their blunt assessment.

As part of his announcement to overhaul the agencies responsible for the safety and security of the food supply, President Obama named a new head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Margaret Hamburg. He also proposed a new Food Safety Working Group designed to coordinate food safety laws throughout the government and work with him to ensure the laws are updated and working properly. In his address, Obama also permanently banned “downer” cows (cows too sick or weak t stand on their own) from entering the meat supply.

These changes come on the heels of new research showing Americans’ trust in the safety and security of the country’s food supply is fading. A survey conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Food Industry Center and released earlier this month shows that fewer than one in four consumers thinks the U.S. food supply is safer now than it was at this time last year, according to the Web site (The Food Industry Center survey has gauged consumer confidence in food safety on a weekly basis since last May.)

As the administration takes its own steps to boost food safety, grocery stores in some parts of the United States might play their own role. According to an article in the March 16 Los Angeles Times, legislators in California are discussing the use of supermarket checkout scanners to immediately alert shoppers about recalled products.

California state Senator Dean Florez, a food safety advocate, remarked, “Grocers have the tools at their disposal to give consumers the final line of defense they need and expect.”

Our Take: Yes, times are booming for retailers with strong store brand programs. But just one slipup on the food safety side can hurt a brand - and even an entire category - for months or even years. Investments in technologies related to traceability and  safety alerts could be just as critical as those tied to product and packaging innovation.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Private Label Buyer.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

November 2014 New Food Products

This month's new food products are Flours, crepes, lollipops, several candy items, pancakes, dip, fish, raisins, pizza, almond milk, peanut butter, and a breakfast bowl.


Coming with a clear, comprehensive plan was the key to success for Longo Brothers Fruit Markets when the grocer decided to roll out a two-tier private label strategy, Jenny Longo and Robert Koss tell PLBuyer editor Chris Freeman in this podcast.

More Podcasts

Private Label Buyer Magazine

PLB November 2014 cover

November 2014

The November 2014 issue of Private Label Buyer - its last issue - includes articles about the retailer as manufacturer and OTC/healthcare items, as well as category insights on pizza and household goods. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Private Label Segments

Which segment of private label will see the biggest growth over the next year?
View Results Poll Archive

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


facebook_40px twitter_40px  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40pxgoogle+ icon 40px

PLB Marketplace