FDA Releases New Era for Smarter Food Safety Blueprint

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Orange overlay on a food safety inspector with the text New Era of Smarter Food Safety

With the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the most sweeping reform of the U.S. food safety system in the last 70 or more years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken a proactive approach to food safety issues with science- and risk-based protections to promote public health by reducing foodborne illnesses and preventing contamination.

Most recently, the FDA has released the New Era for Smarter Food Safety Blueprint (Blueprint), which outlines the agency’s approach to implementing changes over the next ten (10) years.

Watch the Introducing the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint video (15:12).

From the Executive Summary:

The New Era of Smarter Food Safety represents a new approach to food safety, leveraging technology and other tools to create a safer and more digital, traceable food system. Smarter food safety is about more than just technology. It’s also about simpler, more effective, and modern approaches and processes. It’s about leadership, creativity, and culture.

Changes in the production, distribution and consumption of food have prompted a deeper look into the modernization of the food safety systems used in the human food, animal food and produce sectors. The goal is to more quickly identify contaminated food and remove it from the supply chain.

The Blueprint plan is people-focused and -led, FSMA-based, and technology-enabled. It brings stakeholders from industry, academia, trade associations, and consumer groups, along with regulatory partners and other groups, such as technology companies, together.

There are four (4) core elements to the plan (listed with subsections):

  1. Tech-enabled Traceability to develop foundational components, encourage and incentivize industry adoption of new technologies, and leverage digital transformation,
  2. Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention and Outbreak Response, to invigorate root cause analyses, strengthen predictive analytics capabilities, implement domestic mutual reliance, develop inspection, training, and compliance tools, enhance outbreak response, and for recall modernization,
  3. New Business Models and Retail Modernization, to ensure safety of food produced or delivered using new business models and modernize traditional retail food safety approaches, and
  4. Food Safety Culture, to promote food safety culture throughout the food system, further promote food safety culture throughout the agency, and develop and promote a smarter food safety consumer education campaign.

Read more about innovative approaches to food safety in the FDA’s most recent announcement, New Era for Smarter Food Safety Blueprint: Modern Approaches for Modern Times.

If you have questions about FSMA for animal food, please contact Marissa Herchler.