ARLINGTON, VA — October 22, 2009 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) issued the following statement about today’s hearing by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on “Keeping America’s Families Safe: Reforming the Food Safety System.”   

     “The most important goal of food retailers and wholesalers is to ensure that the food we sell is as safe as possible and of the highest quality possible,” said Michael Roberson, the director of corporate quality assurance at Publix Super Markets, Inc. of Lakeland, FL.

Roberson testified on behalf of FMI. He said high profile food safety outbreaks revealed weaknesses in the existing food safety system and highlighted the need to update the laws and culture necessary to adequately protect our food supply.

“Supermarkets have many prevention programs in place to protect our customers, including employee food safety training, extensive sanitation programs, food safety management systems, consumer education programs and other programs that involve working closely with our suppliers, especially those beyond our borders,” he said.

“Many of the proposals in S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, are consistent with our approach to improving the food safety system by emphasizing the need to have preventative measures as the foundation on which any food safety system should be built. Our industry also understands that it is vital to ensure that the FDA has the necessary authority, credibility and resources to meet the challenges of today’s global marketplace.”