FDAs Food Protection Plan progress report

Source of Article: http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/news_home.shtml

12/02/2008-The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a report on the progress made since the implementation of the Food Protection Plan, launched one year ago. The Plan is designed to address food safety and food defense for both domestic and imported products and covers the full lifecycle of food, by encouraging the building of safety into every step of the food supply chain. The Plan has three core strategies: The prevention of outbreaks of food-borne disease, and intervention and response if they occur.

Here are some of the FDAs accomplishments from the past year in each core area.

Prevention. The FDA is establishing offices in five regions that export food to the U.S.China, India, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. The agency has already hired staff for its offices in China and India. In addition, the FDA has released the CARVER self-assessment tool for industry, to minimize the risk of intentional contamination of food, and has conducted training seminars on how to use the tool. There are plans to hire an International Notification Coordinator to manage the information exchanges between the FDA and foreign regulatory authorities.

Intervention. During 2008, the FDA completed inspections of 5,930 high-risk domestic food establishments. Also, the agency developed a rapid detection method that uses flow cytometry to indentify E. coli and Salmonella in food. This method is now being used in poultry-processing facilities to detect and prevent bacterial contamination. The FDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection jointly issued a final rule on Prior Notice of Imported Food Shipments, and an accompanying Compliance Policy Guide on Oct. 31, 2008.

Response. The FDA continues to work with the industry and the public to identify best practices for tracing fresh produce throughout the supply chain. Following the detection of melamine in infant formula and milk products from China, the FDA worked with its state and local counterparts to canvas more than 2,100 vendors of Asian products to remove any Chinese infant formula from the market. Along with this, the FDA provided regular updates on its Web site to keep consumers up-to-date as to which products to avoid. Additionally, the FDA hired two emergency/complaint-response coordinators to improve its response to emergencies that involve animal feed, including pet food.

One-Year Summary of Progress report

Food Protection Plan



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