FDA to revise food safety rules for food growers in 2014

The new rules would require farmers to take precautions against contamination, check employee hand washing, keep animals out of fields and more.

Dec. 20— The Food and Drug Administration says it will revise sweeping new food safety rules proposed earlier this year after farmers complained the rules could hurt business.

Michael Taylor, FDA's commissioner for foods, said the agency wants to make sure the rules are practical for farmers who have to abide by them. The rules proposed in January would require farmers to take new precautions against contamination, making sure workers' hands are washed, irrigation water is clean and that animals stay out of fields, among other precautions. Food manufacturers would also have to submit food safety plans to the government to show they are keeping their operations clean.

Those changes would in many cases require new equipment, paperwork and record keeping.

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