Serious gaps exist in the U.S. government's ability to trace food through the supply chain to ensure its safety, says a report by the inspector general's office of the Department of Health and Human Services.
A survey of food manufacturers required to register with the FDA found that nearly half failed to give the agency accurate contact information, investigators found, the Associated Press reported.
The food tracing program was established to allow quick retracing of contaminated food that causes outbreaks and to keep food safe from bioterrorism. The flaws exposed in the investigation are "appalling," said U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., chair of the House spending panel that oversees the FDA budget.
"The weakness in our food safety system that are highlighted in the report are unacceptable," DeLauro said, the AP reported. "Congress should pass comprehensive food safety legislation to give FDA the statutory authority it needs."