FDA Focuses on Food Safety to Begin In 2022
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FDA Focuses on Food Safety to Begin In 2022

In January 2022, FDA announced new initiatives focused on food safety, indicating that the agency will continue to prioritize that area. Several of these programs are designed to provide more transparency and more information on foodborne illnesses and food safety hazards directly to consumers. Others, including a new egg regulatory program and a proposed rule on pre-market notification for food contact substances, are more technical and industry-focused.

  • On January 5, FDA announced its new public-facing reportable food registry. The RFR public data dashboard contains 10 years of data from September 2009 to 2019 and covers 28 commodities and 20 food safety hazards. Unlike previous RFR annual reports, the new dashboard allows users to interact with the data points to gather more customized information at any time to find answers to their specific questions.
  • On January 14, FDA announced new egg regulatory programs standards (“ERPS”) designed to improve the safety of eggs and egg products. The agency’s press release states: “The standards are designed to integrate the regulatory activities of partner agencies into an efficient and effective process for improving egg and egg product safety in the U.S.” The program standards are for egg and egg product regulatory programs, not for manufacturers or growers of eggs. The ERPS is comprised of 10 individual standards: regulatory foundation, training program, inspection program, inspection audit program, egg-related illness, outbreak and emergency response, compliance and enforcement program, outreach activities, program resources, program assessment and laboratory support.
  • Also on January 14, the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (“IFSAC”), which is a collaboration between FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”) published its priorities for 2022-2023. These priorities include analyzing trends in foodborne disease outbreaks and assessing the frequency of multi-year outbreaks. Most importantly, IFSAC will continue publishing annual reports on foodborne source attribution for four priority pathogens: Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter.
  • On January 25, 2022, FDA proposed a new rule to amend existing regulations on when and how FDA may determine that a pre-market notification for a food contact substance is no longer effective. According to the agency’s press release, the proposed rule would “among other things, allow the FDA additional flexibility in how it determines that an FCN is no longer effective and help ensure that FDA’s inventory of effective FCNs is currently based on use and safety. Primarily, this rule would enable the FDA to determine that an FCN is no longer effective when the manufacturer discontinues its use based on reasons other than safety, for example, they no longer produce, supply, or use the food contact substance.” The agency is accepting public comment on the proposed rule until April 11, 2022. The rule can be reviewed here.
  • On February 16, 2022, FDA will host a webinar on food safety culture in collaboration with the non-profit Stop Foodborne Illness. The webinar is entitled: “Making Leaders Risk Aware and Push to Reduce Risks” and is focused on food industry compliance leaders in the public and private sectors. This webinar is the second in a webinar series between the two organizations. Registration information is available here.
Tags: FDA


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