FDA announces program priorities

cereal_milk_breakfast_blogReducing foodborne illnesses tops the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s (CFSAN) priority list for 2013-2014.

The goals, which are set to help focus CFSAN’s priorities, revolve around public health, ongoing developments and new provisions set up under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The updated priorities also reflect emerging issues, such as food chain globalization, evolving processes in industry and consumer preferences for foods that undergo minimal processing or are fresh.

CFSAN is part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is the “science-based public health regulatory center” of the FDA.

The full list of priorities includes:

  1.  “Reduce foodborne illness rates and cosmetic injury rates each year.
  2.  Establish regulations, policies, guidances, and inspection and compliance strategies based on best science, prevention, and public health risk.
  3. Increase compliance with newly created preventive control standards across the farm-to-table continuum.
  4. Improve public health indicators through better nutrition and dietary choices.
  5. Develop and swiftly deploy the fastest most effective methods for identifying, containing, and eliminating food and cosmetic hazards.
  6. Achieve optimal use of staff and resources.”  

The announcement also includes a breakdown of what each goal entails along with a target year. For example, to reduce foodborne illness rates, CFSAN lists the publication of a final rule on the definition of gluten-free (2013) and publish a final rule on the manufacture of infant formula (2013).

CFSAN also lists the publication of a proposed preventive rule for safe food transportation (2014, pending litigation), the publication of a proposed rule for third party auditor accreditation (2013) and the publication of a proposed rule for intentional contamination (2013, pending litigation) – all of which are related to FSMA. The release of rules stemming from FSMA currently is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit between FDA and the Center for Food Safety.

Want to know more? Read the full plan here.

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