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  1. New Era of Smarter Food Safety

New Era of Smarter Food Safety Select Accomplishments in 2022

The blueprint for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety was announced in July 2020. The staff at FDA continues 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 2022 accomplishments in each priority area.

Tech-Enabled Traceability - Core Element 1 of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint
  • Issued the Food Traceability Final Rule mandated by FSMA, with its list of foods for which additional recordkeeping will apply, allowing for faster identification and rapid removal of potentially contaminated food from the market.
  • Distributed educational materials about the Food Traceability Rule and hosted a webinar focused on the contents of the rule.
  • Initiated international engagement to increase awareness of the Food Traceability Rule and to explore traceability systems currently used by international governments.
  • Separate from the Food Traceability Rule, developed a process to request consumer purchase data from retailers during outbreak investigations.
Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention and Outbreak Response - Core Element 2 of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint
  • Entered Phase 3 of a seafood artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) pilot to see if AI can improve our ability to quickly and efficiently identify imported products that may pose a threat to public health.
  • Expanded partnership agreements with the addition of Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Virginia, continuing to implement a domestic mutual reliance operational framework for more consistent and sustainable information sharing and collaboration in foodborne illness prevention, detection, and response.
  • Released on-line Agricultural Water Assessment Builder to help farmers in an interactive format understand proposed pre-harvest agricultural water requirements. 
  • Released the first in a series of Prevention Strategies to Enhance Food Safety that target specific commodity-hazard pairings.
  • Improved the Enforcement Report for all FDA-monitored recalls to include the ability to keyword search up to five terms of potential interest (allergens, product types, specific hazards).
  • Released the Activities for the Safety of Imported Produce report to detail how the agency is working to enhance the safety of these fresh fruits and vegetables. 
  • The Food Safety Partnership enhanced the Binational Outbreak Notification Protocol for more timely and effective communication between the U.S. and Mexico. Developed the standard operating procedure for and piloted an accompanied unannounced farm visit with SENASICA, the on-farm food safety authority in Mexico, for stronger coordinated responses in for-cause situations. Established a new whole genome sequencing commitment with a data-sharing agreement for FDA to provide training and SENASICA to upload 100 sequences to the GenomeTrakr network.  
  • Expanded oversight of imported shrimp from three largest exporting countries – Ecuador, India and Indonesia. Signed confidentiality commitments with the competent authorities in Ecuador and India, facilitating more rapid information sharing and response to outbreaks. Provided seafood safety training to the competent authorities in all three countries.
  • Used regulatory tools, including remote assessments and sampling, to enhance oversight of foreign facilities FDA cannot routinely inspect.
  • Advanced Root Cause Analysis (RCA) work by establishing an internal Standard Operating Procedure and beginning to support its implementation by working on a training module for FDA staff and, externally, an RCA guidance for industry.
  • Developed a plan and proof of concept to finish Systems Recognition assessment of the member states in the European Union. 
  • Launched a new five-year agreement to replace the Food Safety Network with the Food Safety for Food Security initiative with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development to build global food safety capacity.
  • Completed Phase 3 of a five-phase multiyear workstream to introduce Whole Genome Sequencing Technologies to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation region.
  • The GenomeTrakr supported the effort to build genomic surveillance capacity in India, Indonesia, and Ecuador in collaboration with the World Organization for Animal Health and the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
  • GenomeTrakr developed methods for sequencing and analyzing SARS-CoV-2 from wastewater with funds from American Rescue Plan.
  • Published One Health Enteric Package in the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s BioSample, capturing machine-readable metadata for enteric pathogens collected from humans, animals, food, food facilities, and the environment.
New Business Models and Retail Modernization - Core Element 3 of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint
  • Collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Conference for Food Protection to release food safety best practices for third-party delivery services.
  • Entered a Memorandum of Understanding between FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen food safety in retail and foodservice establishments.
  • Supported specific objectives with Retail Food Safety Collaborative funding.
  • Developed Food Code Adoption Toolkit for regulatory jurisdictions working to adopt a newer version of the Food Code.
Food Safety Culture - Core Element 4 of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint
  • Trained more than 1,000 FDA inspectional staff to introduce them to behavioral and organizational principles that make up food safety culture.
  • Released a review of the scientific literature to better understand how food safety culture is defined, developed, maintained, and assessed by organizations.
  • Conducted a series of webinars on food safety culture in collaboration with The Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness.
  • Met with domestic and international regulatory partners, industry stakeholders and consumer groups to discuss food safety culture. 
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