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Since mid-March 2020, FDA operations and FDA oversight of the U.S. food supply have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Agency's priorities during this time period have been the safety of our staff, conducting mission-critical activities, including inspections, responding to foodborne disease outbreaks, sampling and testing of imported food, and managing recalls. We have also worked to support continuity of the food supply chain, which includes keeping food and agricultural workers safe to allow continued production of food. Given these priorities, and state and local travel restrictions, FDA adjusted its approach to oversight activities.
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To prevent foodborne illness and foster good nutrition, the FDA monitors domestic and foreign companies and the food that they produce. We then use the data we gather from monitoring to protect consumers and animals from unsafe food. We do this through research and development, inspection, sampling, recall, seizure, injunction, and criminal prosecution. We also issue regulations and guidance to help foreign and domestic companies comply with the standards necessary to protect public health and meet consumer and stakeholder expectations.
To expedite our progress in these areas, FDA is taking a new approach to food safety through its New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative. The goal of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative is to bend the curve of foodborne illness in this country by reducing the number of illnesses attributed to FDA-regulated foods and to protect consumers from other unsafe foods. The New Era builds on the modernized food safety regulatory framework created by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) by leveraging the use of new and emerging technologies and approaches to strengthen our predictive capabilities, accelerate prevention, and expedite outbreak response.
Foodborne illness is both a significant public health problem and a threat to the economic well-being of our food system. Enacted in response to dramatic changes in the global food system, FSMA focuses the nation’s food safety system on preventing foodborne illness instead of just responding to it. Explore the progress we are making toward achieving key results and outcomes of FSMA.
When there is reasonable probability that a food will cause serious adverse health consequences, the food industry uses the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) to report it to us. We then use the RFR data and other data to track patterns and target public health initiatives such as inspections or sampling assignments.
Ensuring that the food people and animals eat is safe and uncontaminated is an essential element of promoting both human and animal health. Under FSMA, we are constructing a modern integrated food safety system that protects food from farm to table, establishes shared responsibility for food safety among all participants, and strengthens accountability for preventing foodborne illness domestically and internationally. Explore the progress the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is making in keeping animal food safe.
With easy-to-use, customizable graphs and charts, you can use the FDA Data Dashboard to better understand and analyze the data already available on other parts of our website. The dashboard currently includes data from the Inspection Database and compliance, enforcement, and import related information. It also includes the FDA FSMA firm and supplier database, which includes compliance information, recalls, import alerts and refusals (where applicable), approved Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) Importers, and Third-Party Certification Program (TPP) Participants.