The rules are the first of seven proposed following the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA. The Act was signed into law in January 2011 and represents the most sweeping reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years.
The law is designed gives the FDA greater power to inspect food facilities and farms with the aim of preventing foodborne illnesses instead of reacting after they have occurred.
One in six Americans are sickened every year from foodborne diseases, according to the CDC. About 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year.
The first two rules focus on food manufacturing processes. They require companies to develop written food safety plans that indicate potential hazards that could affect the safety of their products and outline plans to prevent or minimize them.
The remaining five rules are expected to be finalized in 2016. They include a proposal that would place greater requirements on importers to verify the safety of the products they import.
The U.S. imports about 15 percent of its food supply. That figure is far higher for certain sectors, including seafood, fruits and vegetables, and spices.