Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a proposal to create a new and separate regulatory category for antiseptic products used by food handlers. 

The agency is currently accepting comments, data, and information on the subject. The information collected will help FDA to better measure the effectiveness and safety of antiseptic hand washes and similar products used in food handling environments, and for over-the-counter use.

Manufacturers of food handling antiseptics and other related stakeholders are being asked to submit their safety data for antiseptics meant to be used by food handlers in commercial or otherwise regulated environments. These environments include places where food may be grown, produced, manufactured, processed, packaged, transported, stored, prepared, served or consumed. The agency is also interested in receiving comments and suggestions on definitions, eligibility, safety and effectiveness criteria, and possible test methods to show just how effective food handling antiseptics are.

Comments, data, and information can be formally submitted via the Federal Register until February 5, 2019.

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