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  1. National Integrated Food Safety System (IFSS) Programs and Initiatives

Domestic Mutual Reliance

Domestic Mutual Reliance (banner image)

Domestic mutual reliance is a seamless partnership that enables FDA and states with comparable regulatory public health systems, as trusted partners, to rely on, coordinate with, and leverage one another’s work, data, and actions to meet the public health goal of a safe national food supply.

The purpose of this partnership is to improve industry compliance, avoid duplication of effort, drive efficiencies, and prevent or reduce human and animal foodborne illness outbreaks. 

By working toward an Integrated Food Safety System (IFSS), partners can coordinate food safety inspection efforts, share data, and respond to outbreaks more efficiently.  This collaboration includes:

  • Data exchange/information sharing
  • Work planning and risk prioritization/categorization, including inspection frequency mandates, and comparison and reconciliation of inventories
  • Inspection, compliance/enforcement, and corrective actions
  • Environmental assessment
  • Recall oversight and effectiveness/audit checks
  • Investigation of outbreaks and complaints
  • Sample collection and laboratory capacity, analysis, and reporting
  • Field staff training
  • Industry and consumer education
  • Organizational resources and personnel
  • Development and monitoring of key domestic mutual reliance metrics

The domestic mutual reliance partnership will enable FDA to:

  • Work closely with state regulatory human and animal food safety programs to extend efforts to protect public health; 
  • Collaborate with states to develop and sustain a highly-trained workforce and build quality management systems and the infrastructure needed to meet national regulatory program standards; and
  • Acknowledge states’ successes in meeting national regulatory program standards.

The Regulatory Program Standards include the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) and the Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards (AFRPS).

This collaborative effort provides opportunities for FDA and state partners to identify needs to better protect the public and leverage work from other regulatory programs.

What's New

Here you will find the latest updates on what is happening with domestic mutual reliance and state partners.

  • November 2021 – The FDA and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recently reached a major milestone of exchanging and accepting more than 500 of each other’s manufactured food inspection reports. The FDA’s enhanced IT support has greatly increased the efficiency of data sharing between the agency and state partners. These efforts capture the intent of the domestic mutual reliance partnership agreement between FDACS and the FDA, signed on October 29, 2021, to share program information that will improve public health by minimizing duplication of work and leveraging resources. For more examples of the benefits of domestic mutual reliance, visit DMR Benefits for Industry and Consumers.
  • On October 7, 2021, the FDA announced the signing of four domestic mutual reliance partnership agreements with the California Department of Public Health, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Division of Food and Recreational Safety.
  • October 2021 – Food Safety Magazine discusses the FDA’s new domestic mutual reliance partnership agreements with California, Florida, Utah, and Wisconsin. FDA Assistant Commissioner for Partnerships and Policy Erik Mettler is the author.
  • July 2021 - Our new video highlights how the FDA’s Rapid Response Team program embodies domestic mutual reliance in action during human and animal food emergencies. The video features a case study involving the federal-state teams from Maryland and Wisconsin, posters from the annual meeting, and much more.
  • May 2021 - Thanks to effective federal-state communication channels, Giant Eagle, Inc., Hy-Vee, Inc., and the Kroger Co. were able to work with the FDA to quickly issue a voluntary recall of Chicken Street Taco Kits supplied by Reser’s Fine Foods, due to the possibility the product may contain an undeclared egg allergen. 
  • April 2021 - Food Safety Magazine describes how domestic mutual reliance builds upon the successes of FDA’s Rapid Response Teams model in collaboration with states to improve food safety in the United States. Erik Mettler, FDA Assistant Commissioner for Partnerships and Policy, and Natalie Adan, Food Safety Division Director of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, are co-authors.


Do you have questions or would you like more information? Please submit them to OP.Feedback@fda.hhs.gov.


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