GREENSBORO, N.C. — Every year an estimated 48 million Americans get sick from bacteria and viruses in their food. Now the Food and Drug Administration is trying to reduce the number of illnesses with its Food Traceability Rule, which covers food through the entire supply chain.
"This new record-keeping process is going to mean that people at every stage, from production to supermarkets to restaurants, are going to have to keep track of the food in the exact same way," said Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports.
That means assigning a code to potentially riskier foods—those prone to contamination—such as soft cheeses, eggs, leafy greens, nut butters, and tomatoes so they can be tracked more efficiently.
"In some cases, this new rule may make it even easier for food to be identified as potentially harmful even before it hits the market and gets into the hands of consumers," said Calvo.
Meat and poultry aren’t included because they’re regulated by the USDA, not the FDA. CR says the new plan isn’t perfect, but it’s better than what’s currently in place.
"Right now, record-keeping of this type is incomplete and inconsistent. So this will standardize everything and make it easier for people to follow the food back," said Calvo.
The new rule goes into effect on January 20, 2026.
Just this week, the USDA issued a recall on ready-to-eat meat products. Eight different charcuterie-type products were recalled due to Listeria concerns. Inspectors say they found Listeria on surfaces the meat might have come into contact with. At this point, there have been no sickness complaints. Find info on the Daniele International Foods recall here.