Focusing on risk identification helps insure effective and efficient animal feed safety regulation. We took important steps during the fiscal year to identify risks, leverage resources in cooperation with state agencies, and implement plans for risk-based inspections.
Identifying high risk firms. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) mandates that CVM develop criteria to assign levels of risk for all firms producing food for animals. The Office of Surveillance and Compliance (OSC) established a working group to address policy and process changes required for implementing a high-risk inspection targeting program. The Working Group developed a CVM-applicable definition of high-risk facilities and a high-risk model to use for field work planning.
Piloting a risk-based decision-making project for animal food facility inspections. CVM’s Animal Feed Safety System, FDA’s Minneapolis District Office, and the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin kicked off a pilot project to develop a harmonized process of establishing priority lists, and inspecting the high-risk feed manufacturing facilities. The goal of the pilot project is to ensure that high-risk animal feed facilities across the FDA district are identified and inspected in a timely manner using a cooperatively developed, risk-informed work plan approach.
Enhancing sampling-based information. The agency’s ability to monitor the feed supply through sampling for feed contaminants is resource limited restricted to about 600 samples for all hazards. Increasing the sampling-based information about the feed supply is vital to improving its safety, and also for transition to the preventive approach mandated by FSMA. The OSC feed safety team explored expanding our collaboration with the states to include obtaining sample results. By the end of the fiscal year, 11 States were participating, and had supplied the results on over 6400 samples.
Testing a Rapid Response Team. A limiting factor in our ability to respond quickly to a feed contamination issue is the time required to identify the needed expertise and involve the person or persons in the situation and data analysis. During the year, OSC developed, tested and implemented a pre-determined virtual rapid response team selected based on skills and knowledge that could be needed for a contamination incident.