April 19, 2012

FDA: Reportable Food Registry is speeding action in contamination outbreaks

The FDA has released a report that says 1,153 entries into its Reportable Food Registry (RFR) have helped speed identification and investigation of potential health hazards in human food.

The Second Annual Reportable Food Registry Report shows that the RFR has:

  • Increased the speed with which FDA and its state and local partners investigate reports and take appropriate follow-up action, including removing reportable foods from commerce when necessary;
  • Improved FDA’s understanding of how products are distributed through commodity supply chains, increasing FDA’s ability to trace reportable foods upstream and downstream;
  • Helped FDA and industry identify key commodity risk points and develop guidance for establishing preventive controls;
  • Improved coordination among FDA headquarters, FDA field staff and state and local regulators;
  • Provided data for FDA to issue import alerts and import bulletins; and
  • Supplied information to help FDA target inspections, plan work and identify and prioritize risks.

The RFR requires manufacturers, processors, packers and holders (warehousers, distributors, etc.) of FDA-regulated foods/feeds to quickly report to FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal any foods, feeds or ingredients that could result in serious adverse health consequences to humans or animals.

Reportable food submissions provide early warning to FDA about potential public health risks and increase the speed with which the agency and its partners at the state and local levels can investigate the reports and take appropriate follow-up action, including ensuring that the reportable foods are removed from commerce when necessary, the FDA says.

The just-posted report summarizes the Registry’s second year of operation (Sept. 8, 2010, to Sept. 7, 2011) and finds that it logged 225 primary reports, or initial reports about a safety concern with a food or animal feed (including food ingredients); 483 subsequent reports from suppliers or recipients of a food or feed for which a primary report had been submitted; and 174 amended reports to correct or add information to previously submitted reports. Reports were received from both domestic and foreign sources.

According to FDA, the 225 primary reports for Year 2 involved products in 22 commodity categories. Salmonella accounted for 38.2 percent of hazards, Undeclared Allergens accounted for 33.3 percent and Listeria monocytogenes accounted for 17.8 percent.

The report notes that the RFR findings have spurred efforts to improve preventive measures in affected commodity areas, both by industry and FDA, and are helping the agency better target its inspection and sampling activities.

To view the current report, click here.

For more information, on the Reportable Food Registry, click here.



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