New guidelines focus on role of retail food businesses during outbreaks

Pizza_wEgg_blogA group made up of government and industry experts have released new guidelines intended to clarify the role of retail food establishments during foodborne illness outbreaks.

The Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) guidelines “outline, clarify and explain the recommended role for retail food establishment owners, operators and managers in a foodborne illness outbreak investigation and what they can expect after being notified of an outbreak,” according to a statement. This includes identifying signs of an outbreak and steps a business should take if involved in an outbreak investigation.

The guidelines do not replace or supersede any local, state or federal guidelines – rather, they are meant to help improve and complement existing protocols or provide guidance in creating procedures where they currently do not exist, CIFOR notes.

“These CIFOR guidelines offer a clear pathway to success in industry’s and government’s efforts to ensure that the foods we produce and regulate are safe to eat,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement. “Both industry and government have a shared responsibility for the safety of our nation’s food supply. By outlining and clarifying specific roles and responsibilities during each outbreak, we develop greater trust and accountability among stakeholders and consumers.”

The guidance document is available here.

Comments are closed.