By Maria Valdez Haubrich

On November 30, the Senate passed a Food-Safety Bill that started life back in early 2009 and passed the House in July 2009. Spurred by yet another outbreak of salmonella over the summer (this time eggs), Congress refocused their attention on the food-safety system and its need for reform.

What does the legislation mean to you? Well, if you make a food product it probably means tougher and more widespread federal inspections—plus, most likely additional safeguard requirements.

The Food Safety and Modernization Act will require you to keep detailed record-keeping and gives the Food and Drug Administration the power to recall contaminated food, instead of relying on the industry for cooperation. Director of the Food Policy Institute, Chris Waldrop, says, “It moves the agency from reacting to outbreaks and recalls to preventing them.”

However, like most controversial legislation, there is already debate and outrage over certain provisions in the bill, for example, the Act requires the companies to pay a fee when they have a food recall. Apparently that violates the Constitution, so stayed tuned to see how it all plays out.