National Restaurant Association Commends Administration for Moving Forward to Strengthen Import Safety and Food Protection

November 06, 2007

Contact: Sue Hensley 202-331-5964, Maureen Ryan 202-331-5939

(Washington, DC) – The National Restaurant Association issued the following statement in response to the Import Safety Action Plan presented today by the Interagency Working Group on Import Safety and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Food Protection Plan.

“Food safety is a top priority for our nation’s restaurants,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “We are pleased that the administration recognized the importance of addressing both imported and domestically produced food. The U.S. food supply is the safest in the world, and our 21st century marketplace means we must evolve our food safety and regulatory approaches to keep pace with new science and a global economy.”

“We applaud the administration for recognizing the importance of this issue and focusing resources to evaluate how our food safety standards can be even stronger and more effective,” said Donna Garren, vice president for Health and Safety Regulatory Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “Both the Import Safety Plan and the Food Protection Plan are a good step forward to enhance our food protection system and regain and strengthen consumer confidence.”

The National Restaurant Association has been working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and with the Administration, to address industry concerns. The National Restaurant Association is committed to food safety and works continually toward the goal of ensuring food safety.

“Any consumer who walks into a restaurant must be able to know the food is safe,” said Sweeney. “We need to ensure public confidence in the federal government systems that regulate food safety.”

The National Restaurant Association, founded in 1919, is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which is comprised of 935,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a work force of 12.8 million employees – making it the cornerstone of the economy, career opportunities and community involvement. Along with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to represent, educate and promote the rapidly growing industry. For more information, visit our Web site at www.restaurant.org.