Nadezhda Belogorskaya/Hemera

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning to change the reporting processes for manufacturers of acidified and low-acid canned foods, Food Poisoning Bulletin has reported.

The proposed changes in reporting rules refer to both paper and electronic forms that canned food processors are required to submit to the agency. Under the new rules, the forms that are currently used for reporting — Form 2541a and Form 2541c — will be replaced by forms specific to each individual industry's processes. By introducing a series of forms, the FDA hopes to make reporting processes more streamlined for manufacturers and to ensure than the information they submit is detailed and accurate.

Depending on exactly what manufacturers do, they will be able to choose between separate forms for low-acid retorted method, acidified method, water activity control method and low-acid aseptic systems.

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The FDA explained that comments on the updated reporting procedures will be accepted before the new rules come into effect. Over the next few days the agency will issue a Federal Register notice that announces the start of the public comment on the proposed changes in canned food production reporting. Until the reviewed processes are finalized, manufacturers should continue using the current forms in the same way they have done so far.

If canned foods are improperly processed they may contain bacteria that causes botulism, a disease which is potentially deadly to humans, Food Poisoning Bulletin noted.