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FDA Rolls Out New Food Safety Initiative

A new FDA food safety initiative, the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint, will utilize technology and other tools to improve traceability and food safety.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is rolling out a new initiative this week that aims to leverage technology and digital tools to improve traceability, reduce foodborne illnesses, and help companies to maintain a strong food safety culture in the US food industry. 

FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in an announcement Monday that the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint will build upon the food safety and foodborne illness prevention measures laid out in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

“We’ll do this in part by incorporating the use of the most modern technologies that are already in use in society and the business sector. Some of this innovation is already creating a revolution in food production, supply, and delivery,” Commissioner Hahn said in prepared remarks.

The New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint initiative focuses on four core elements: Tech enhanced traceability, smarter tools and approaches for prevention and outbreak response, new business models and retail modernization, and food safety culture. 

“This blueprint outlines the approach FDA will take over the next decade to usher in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety,” the FDA wrote in a document on the plan. “It will evolve as food technologies and the food system evolve.”  

As part of the effort, the agency launched a pilot program that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to make improvements to the FDA's review of imported foods at ports of entry. 

FDA first announced plans for the food safety initiative in April 2019. The document’s release was delayed by the agency due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. 

To view the full text of the blueprint, click here

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