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FDA NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS

For Immediate Release: Nov. 13, 2009

Media Inquiries: Michael Herndon, 301-796-4673, michael.herndon@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

New Report Recommends Enhanced Food Tracing Guidelines

The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) today released a report from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), which recommends clear objectives be set for all users of a simpler, globally accepted food supply chain that can benefit from existing commercial systems.

CFSAN commissioned the IFT report in 2008 as part of the agency's ongoing examination of food product tracing practices, and its commitment to improve the ability of government and industry to trace commercially distributed food products potentially of risk to U.S. consumers.  The IFT is a nonprofit scientific society focusing on the science of food.

Food can become contaminated at many different steps in the supply chain. Experience in conducting foodborne disease outbreak investigations suggests that improved product tracing abilities could help identify products associated with disease more quickly, get risky products off the market faster, and reduce the number of illnesses associated with foodborne illness outbreaks.

The IFT report is part of the public record that FDA will consider in determining ways to improve the ability of government and industry to trace food products throughout all stages of the supply chain. 

To view the IFT recommendations, please visit ift.org/traceability Exit Disclaimer

Last week, FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service jointly announced a public meeting on food product tracing in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9 and 10, 2009, and formally requested written input from stakeholders on measures to improve food product tracing.  Details of that announcement can be viewed at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Frame/FrameRedirect.asp?main=http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/Docket_no_FDA-2009-0523.htm

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