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FDA Unveils Plans to Strengthen the Safety and Security of the U.S. Food Supply

Bucket full of fruits and vegetables with some food displayed outside

CFSAN - FDA

November 6, 2007

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued its Food Protection Plan (the Plan) -- a comprehensive and integrated strategy to further strengthen the safety of the U.S. food supply. The Plan reflects recent challenges and global changes, and builds upon advances in science and technology to safeguard the nation's food supply against both unintentional and deliberate contamination. This visionary approach is built on three core elements: Prevention, Intervention and Response. First, the Plan focuses FDA's efforts to prevent problems before they start. Second, the Plan employs risk-based interventions to ensure preventive approaches are effective. Finally, the Plan provides for a rapid response when contaminated food or feed are detected, or when there is harm to humans or animals. The overall goal of the Plan is to secure the safety of food in U.S. commerce from production through consumption.

Issuance of the Food Protection Plan today is in response to the May 2007 request by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Commissioner of Food and Drugs for a new comprehensive strategy to maximize the safety of FDA-regulated food products. The Plan complements and will be integrated with the Administration's Import Safety Action Plan, also issued today by the President's Import Safety Working Group. The Import Safety Action Plan provides specific short- and long-term recommendations to better protect consumers and enhance the safety of the increasing volume of imports entering the United States.

The Food Protection Plan contains several core principles, including increased corporate responsibility, increased collaboration and communication with stakeholders, and a broad risk-based approach to food protection. These principles will guide the activities of the agency in the future. The Food Protection Plan also recommends additional regulatory authorities for the FDA to increase its capability to effectively address the three core elements of the Plan and meet the expectations of the American public. The Plan, in part, recommends authorizations that would allow FDA to require preventive controls against intentional adulteration by terrorists or criminals at points of high vulnerability in the food chain, issue additional preventive controls for high-risk foods, accredit highly qualified third parties for voluntary food inspections, increase access to food records during emergencies, and to issue a Mandatory Recall if voluntary recalls are not effective.

Below are the URLs for the Food Protection Plan and the Import Safety Action Plan.

Food Protection Strategy (also available in PDF, 1.23 MB)

Import Safety Action Plan (available in PDF, 520 KB)