Not later than 270 days after January 4, 2011, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in this section as the “Secretary”), taking into account recommendations from the Secretary of Agriculture and representatives of State departments of health and agriculture, shall establish pilot projects in coordination with the food industry to explore and evaluate methods to rapidly and effectively identify recipients of food to prevent or mitigate a foodborne illness outbreak and to address credible threats of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals as a result of such food being adulterated under section 342 of this title or misbranded under section 343(w) of this title.
The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall, as appropriate, establish within the Food and Drug Administration a product tracing system to receive information that improves the capacity of the Secretary to effectively and rapidly track and trace food that is in the United States or offered for import into the United States. Prior to the establishment of such product tracing system, the Secretary shall examine the results of applicable pilot projects and shall ensure that the activities of such system are adequately supported by the results of such pilot projects.
At the time the Secretary promulgates the final rules under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall publish the list of the foods designated under subparagraph (A) as high-risk foods on the Internet website of the Food and Drug Administration. The Secretary may update the list to designate new high-risk foods and to remove foods that are no longer deemed to be high-risk foods, provided that each such update to the list is consistent with the requirements of this subsection and notice of such update is published in the Federal Register.
During the comment period in the notice of proposed rulemaking under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall conduct not less than 3 public meetings in diverse geographical areas of the United States to provide persons in different regions an opportunity to comment.
Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Secretary may require that a facility retain records under this subsection for not more than 2 years, taking into consideration the risk of spoilage, loss of value, or loss of palatability of the applicable food when determining the appropriate timeframes.
In establishing requirements under this subsection, the Secretary shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, consider the impact of requirements on farm to school or farm to institution programs of the Department of Agriculture and other farm to school and farm to institution programs outside such agency, and shall modify the requirements under this subsection, as appropriate, with respect to such programs so that the requirements do not place undue burdens on farm to school or farm to institution programs.
The requirements under this subsection with respect to a food that is produced through the use of a fishing vessel (as defined in section 1802(18) of title 16) shall be limited to the requirements under subparagraph (F) until such time as the food is sold by the owner, operator, or agent in charge of such fishing vessel.
Recordkeeping requirements under this subsection with regard to any commingled raw agricultural commodity shall be limited to the requirements under subparagraph (F).
The Secretary may, by notice in the Federal Register, modify the requirements under this subsection with respect to, or exempt a food or a type of facility from, the requirements of this subsection (other than the requirements under subparagraph (F), if applicable) if the Secretary determines that product tracing requirements for such food (such as bulk or commingled ingredients that are intended to be processed to destroy pathogens) or type of facility is not necessary to protect the public health.
In the case of a person or food to which a limitation or exemption under subparagraph (C), (D), or (E) applies, if such person, or a person who manufactures, processes, packs, or holds such food, is required to register with the Secretary under section 350d of this title with respect to the manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding of the applicable food, the Secretary shall require such person to maintain records that identify the immediate previous source of such food and the immediate subsequent recipient of such food.
With respect to a sale of a food described in subparagraph (H) to a grocery store, the Secretary shall not require such grocery store to maintain records under this subsection other than records documenting the farm that was the source of such food. The Secretary shall not require that such records be kept for more than 180 days.
The Secretary shall not require a farm to maintain any distribution records under this subsection with respect to a sale of a food described in subparagraph (I) (including a sale of a food that is produced and packaged on such farm), if such sale is made by the farm directly to a consumer.
The recordkeeping requirements established under paragraph (1) shall have no effect on foods that are not designated by the Secretary under paragraph (2) as high-risk foods. Foods described in the preceding sentence shall be subject solely to the recordkeeping requirements under section 350c of this title and subpart J of part 1 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulations).
In conducting the evaluation and report under paragraph (1), if the Comptroller General of the United States determines that the limitations described in such paragraph do not adequately protect the public health, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress recommendations, if appropriate, regarding recordkeeping requirements for restaurants and additional foods, in order to protect the public health.
In making a request under paragraph (1), the Secretary, in consultation and coordination with State and local agencies responsible for food safety, as appropriate, shall issue a written notice to the owner, operator, or agent of the farm to which the article of food has been traced. The individual providing such notice shall present to such owner, operator, or agent appropriate credentials and shall deliver such notice at reasonable times and within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner.
The owner, operator, or agent of a farm shall deliver the information requested under paragraph (1) in a prompt and reasonable manner. Such information may consist of records kept in the normal course of business, and may be in electronic or non-electronic format.
A request made under paragraph (1) shall not include a request for information relating to the finances, pricing of commodities produced, personnel, research, sales (other than information relating to shipping), or other disclosures that may reveal trade secrets or confidential information from the farm to which the article of food has been traced, other than information necessary to identify potential immediate recipients of such food. Section 331(j) of this title and the Freedom of Information Act [5 U.S.C. 552] shall apply with respect to any confidential commercial information that is disclosed to the Food and Drug Administration in the course of responding to a request under paragraph (1).
Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the Secretary to impose any limitation on the commingling of food.
Not later than 180 days after promulgation of a final rule under subsection (d), the Secretary shall issue a small entity compliance guide setting forth in plain language the requirements of the regulations under such subsection in order to assist small entities, including farms and small businesses, in complying with the recordkeeping requirements under such subsection.