November 13, 2009
The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) today is announcing the release of a report developed by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) that recommends to FDA steps for improving the ability to trace food products in commercial distribution in the United States.
CFSAN commissioned the report from IFT in 2008. IFT is a nonprofit scientific society that focuses on food science and issues. FDA asked IFT to review current food product tracing systems, methods and technologies, and report its findings back to the agency, including recommendations for improvements that would enable more rapid and accurate tracing of food products.
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 sicknesses associated with foodborne illness outbreaks.
The IFT report is only one aspect of FDA's commitment to improve the ability of government and industry to trace food products Last week, FDA and the U.S. Department Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service jointly announced a public meeting on food product tracing in Washington on December 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 in "FDA and FSIS to Convene Stakeholder Meeting on Food Product Tracing."