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The safety of food comprises the Branch’s primary mission, in
that nationwide figures show that foodborne illness kills approximately
10,000 people annually and is responsible of over 80,000
hospitalizations. The increasing complexity of large-scale,
technology-driven food manufacturing, coupled with the hazards of
transportation, storage and display of foods, pose a number of
potential risks to consumers.
- Prevent public exposure to adulterated and misbranded food by
identifying and correcting food-related problems and potential problems
before consumers are placed at risk.
- Protect the food supply against acts of terrorism.
- Routinely inspect food manufacturers, distributors, transporters
and retailers at a frequency determined by the relative risk their
activities pose to consumers.
- Sample and monitor food for compliance with safety and quality
standards such as pesticide tolerances, microbial standards, leachable
lead in ceramic ware and others.
- Take effective enforcement action when required.
- Provide consultative and educational services to the food industry,
community groups and other regulatory agencies.
- Respond to all food complaints:
i. Serious complaints involving illness or injury shall be investigated
within 2 working days.
ii. Non-serious complaints, e.g., one involving an economic or
marketing issue, shall be investigated within 2 weeks.
- Take immediate action within 24 hours whenever a product is
determined to pose an imminent threat of serious or irreversible
injury, serious illness, or even death. Action may include embargo and
condemnation of adulterated or misbranded products, recall of those
products with public notification, and order for immediate closure of
the responsible firm(s).
- Annually collect and analyze at least 600 food samples per year for
pesticides residues, lead (in ceramic-ware), pH, water activity, and
the presence of undeclared allergens.
- Respond immediately to suspected acts of terrorism and natural
disasters; assess and coordinate response with related agencies,
coordinate the distribution of medical supplies, initiate public
notification, and implement product recall and destruction.
- Inspection of all food establishments within frequencies set by
branch priorities (priority 1 consisting of firms whose products or
practices pose a significant risk, priority 4 consisting of firms
posing low risk.):
- Priority 1 – Once per 3 - 6 months
- Priority 2 – Once per 6 months
- Priority 3 – Once per year
- Priority 4 – Inspect only after firms with 1 -3 priority
ratings have been inspected at the appropriate frequencies
- Insure that all ‘critical violations’ are corrected
within two weeks.
- Annually collect and analyze at least 250 samples of raw
agricultural commodities and processed foods per year.
- Reduce the overall annual rate of violations per inspection.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Food and Drug Branch
591 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-4725
Fax: (808) 586-4729
Last update: 7 June 2004
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