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New Era of Smarter Food Safety

New Era of Smarter Food Safety

On April 30, 2019, Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless and Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas announced a new approach to food safety, one that recognizes and builds on the progress made in the past but looks towards what processes and tools will be needed for the future.

The agency is currently developing a Strategic Blueprint that will outline how FDA plans to leverage technology, and other tools, to create a more digital, traceable and safer food system. This work will build on the advances that have been and are being made in FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) while advancing the use of technologies that are currently used in society and business sectors all around us, such as blockchain, sensor technology, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence.

Smarter Food Safety is about more than just technology. It’s about leadership and creativity. It’s also about simpler, more effective, and modern approaches and processes.

Smarter Food Safety is people-led, FSMA-based, and technology-enabled.

Priority areas that will be the focus of internal workgroups and stakeholders attending a public meeting in the fall of 2019 include:

  • Tech-Enabled Traceability and Foodborne Outbreak Response: Looking at technologies, data streams, and processes that will greatly reduce the time it takes to track and trace the origin of a contaminated food and respond to public health risks.
  • Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention: Enhancing the use of new knowledge from traceback, data streams and tools for rapidly analyzing data.  The ability to use new data analysis tools and predictive analytics will help FDA and stakeholders better identify and mitigate potential food safety risks and advance the preventive controls framework that FSMA established.
  • Adapting to New Business Models and Retail Food Safety Modernization: Advancing the safety of both new business models, such as e-commerce and home delivery of foods, and traditional business models, such as retail food establishments.
  • Food Safety Culture: Promoting and recognizing the role of food safety culture on farms and in facilities. This involves doing more to influence what employees and companies think about food safety and how they demonstrate a commitment to this work. Strengthening food safety cultures also extends to the home and FDA is working to educate consumers on safe food handling practices.

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