Reportable Food Registry Fifth Annual Report Questions and Answers
1. What has FDA released?
The Fifth Annual Reportable Food Registry Report. It covers the period from September 8, 2009 to September 7, 2014.
2. What is the Reportable Food Registry (RFR)?
An electronic portal, part of the the Department of Health and Human Services’ Safety Reporting Portal (http://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov) to which industry must, and public health officials may, report when they have information about a Reportable Food. Congress mandated that FDA establish the Reportable Food Registry (RFR or the Registry) in Section 1005 of the FDA Amendments Act of 2007. The Congressional intent of the Registry is to help FDA better protect public health by tracking patterns of food and feed adulteration and targeting inspection resources.
3. What is a Reportable Food?
An article of food/feed for which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, such article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.
4. What is the significance of this fifth Annual RFR Report?
The report indicates that, as in its first year, the RFR continues to help FDA identify food and feed adulteration and target inspection resources to quickly remove adulterated food/feed from commerce and prevent foodborne illnesses.
5. What foods are covered by the Reportable Food Registry?
All foods regulated by FDA, including animal food/feed (including pet food). Infant formula and dietary supplements are covered by other mandatory reporting systems and are not subject to the RFR. By law, the RFR cannot receive reports about drugs or other medical products, reports about products under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or reports from consumers, for whom FDA has other reporting systems.
6. Who is required to report to the RFR?
A Responsible Party, i.e., the person who submits the registration information to FDA under section 415(a) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 350d(a)) for a food/feed facility that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food for human or animal consumption in the U.S. The term person, as defined in section 201(e) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 321(e)) includes individuals, partnerships, corporations and associations. Federal, state, and local public health officials who may have information about reportable foods may submit reports but are not required to do so.
7. Is help available for food/feed facilities that have questions about the RFR?
FDA has created an RFR home page at http://www.fda.gov/ReportableFoodRegistry, which provides detailed information about the RFR and includes a link to the RFR Draft Guidance for Industry (also available in Spanish, French and Chinese). FDA also provides two RFR email help desks:
- The RFR Help Center at RFRSupport@fda.hhs.gov answers questions about policies, procedures and interpretations, and
- The SRP Service Desk at SRPSupport@fda.hhs.gov answers technical and computer-related questions about the Safety Reporting Portal which includes the RFR.
8. What does FDA do with the information in these reports?
FDA determines whether the food/feed reported meets the definition of a reportable food standard, i.e., presents a reasonable probability that an article of human food or animal food/feed (including pet food) will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. FDA then works with the food /feed facilities that submit the reports and the state and local public health officials with jurisdiction over the reporting facilities to locate the potentially hazardous foods in the supply chain in order to prevent them from reaching consumers.
9. Is the RFR FDA’s only source of information about potentially hazardous food/feed?
No. Reportable Food reports are one of many signals FDA receives. Other signals include but are not limited to inspection findings, recall data, PetNet, adverse event reports, consumer complaints and pet food reports. FDA has begun major initiatives to address all the signals it receives.