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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Science & Research

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6. Implement a New Prevention-Based Food Safety System


Images showing food inspector examining crop, food manufacturing site, and grocer holding fresh vegetables

The recently enacted Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) represents the first major overhaul of our food safety law in over 70 years.  It will transform FDA’s food safety program by providing it with new public health mandates and greater tools for ensuring the safety of the food supply in the 21st Century.  FSMA provides FDA with new tools to require manufacturers to implement prevention plans and requires FDA to respond quickly and effectively when problems do occur.

FSMA mandates a new approach to FDA’s current food safety system, emphasizing prevention, risk-based priority-setting, and resource allocation to address the challenges of the modern food safety environment.  Enhanced response and investigation efforts to foodborne outbreaks when they occur, is also critical.  To effectively implement this new food safety mandate, FDA is working to ensure a strong science infrastructure, clearly identifying its research needs, and collaborating with other public health and research agencies in the Federal government, state government agencies, academia, and private industry.  FDA is focusing on:

  • Establishing and implement centralized planning and performance measurement processes
  • Improving information-sharing internally and externally
  • Maintaining mission-critical science capabilities and 
  • Cultivating expert institutional knowledge