(AP) -- Food makers will be required to alert government officials of potentially contaminated products within 24 hours under a new rule designed to help federal regulators spot food safety issues sooner.
The Food and Drug Administration unveiled a new electronic database where manufacturers must notify the government if one of their products is likely to cause sickness or death in people or animals.
Regulators say the database will help the FDA prevent widespread illness from contaminated products and direct inspectors to plants that pose a greater safety concern.
The law creating the database was passed in 2007, after Congress criticized the FDA for its handling of safety problems involving a variety of food and drugs.
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Explore further: Bioethics Commission on incidental findings: Anticipate and communicate