The blueprint for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety was announced in July 2020. The staff at FDA is working to make it a reality, while remaining steadfast to our commitment to completing FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) deliverables. Below is a sampling of planned activities in each priority area.
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Core Element 1: Tech-Enabled Traceability
- Continue to advance food traceability fundamentals as FDA transitions from a proposed to final Food Traceability Rule, as required by FSMA Section 204.
- Work with international regulatory partners to create a common global, harmonized food traceability language based on harmonized data elements and standards.
- Hold a "Low- or No-Cost Food Traceability Challenge" to incentivize development of tech-enabled solutions for food producers of all sizes.
- Develop and pilot prototype to allow FDA to receive traceability data in digital form that can be used to create outbreak investigation diagrams and improve outbreak response.
Core Element 2: Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention and Outbreak Response
- Complete operational phase of a seafood artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) pilot to see if AI can improve our ability to quickly and efficiently identify products that may pose a threat to public health.
- Enter into domestic mutual reliance agreements with at least 3 states to further strengthen the federal-state food safety net.
- Initiate a feasibility study on the use of remote regulatory assessments as an adjunct to compliance oversight for human and animal food firms.
- Complete the pilot of assessing 3rd party food safety standards to determine if they align with certain FDA food safety requirements.
Core Element 3: New Business Models and Retail Modernization
- Continue collaboration with national retail regulatory associations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support FDA's efforts to advance the safety of foods sold in traditional retail establishments.
- Convene a public New Business Model Summit in 2021 with food e-commerce stakeholders to identify future course of actions to address potential food safety vulnerability.
Core Element 4: Food Safety Culture
- Develop and launch internal training for FDA inspectional staff to introduce them to behavioral and organizational principles that make-up food safety culture. Evaluate the feasibility of offering this training to state regulatory inspectors.
- Conduct a literature review on challenges, barriers, and opportunities to influence attitudes and behaviors related to desired food safety practices.
- In collaboration with the Partnership for Food Safety Education, support the modernization of consumer educational materials to include delivery via new tech-enabled mediums and messaging on the safe handling of foods delivered to their homes.