Tag Archives: FSMA

FDA logo

FDA Announces Publication of Final Traceability Rule and Informational Webinar

By Food Safety Tech Staff
No Comments
FDA logo

The FSMA Final Rule on Traceability was published in the Federal Register on November 21, meaning the rule will go into effect on January 20, 2023 (60 days after the publication date). The FDA will hold an informational webinar on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (ET) to provide an overview of the final rule, including the foods and entities covered by the rule, explain the exemptions from the rule, and to discuss the recordkeeping requirements of the rule.  The FDA will answer pre-submitted questions and take questions during the webinar.

The final rule establishes additional traceability recordkeeping requirements for those that manufacture, process, pack or hold certain foods, including fresh leafy greens, nut butters, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables and ready-to-eat deli salads. In collaboration with industry, the FDA will be able to more rapidly and effectively identify the origin and route of travel of certain contaminated foods to prevent or mitigate foodborne illness outbreaks, address credible threats of serious adverse health consequences or death, and minimize overly broad advisories or recalls that implicate unaffected food products.

“This rule lays the foundation for even greater end-to-end food traceability across the food system that we’re working on as part of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative,” said Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response. “This standardized, data-driven approach to traceability recordkeeping helps create a harmonized, universal language of food traceability that will help pave the way for industry to adopt and leverage more digital, interoperable and tech-enabled traceability systems both in the near term and the future.”

Foods subject to the final rule requirements appear on the Food Traceability List (FTL). To determine which foods should be included on the FTL, the FDA developed a risk-ranking model for food tracing based on the factors that Congress identified in Section 204 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). These foods include fresh leafy greens, melons, peppers, sprouts, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tropical tree fruits, as well as shell eggs, nut butters, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, ready-to-eat deli salads, cheeses (other than hard cheese), finfish and crustaceans.

The FDA released a proposed rule in 2020 and held a public comment period where comments were received from food producers and other stakeholders through early 2021. In response, the agency has made several changes to the final rule so that it better aligns with current industry approaches to food traceability and harmonizes points in the supply chain where records must be maintained.

Key features of the final rule include:

  • Critical Tracking Events: at specific points in the supply chain—such as harvesting, cooling, initial packing, receiving, transforming, and shipping FTL foods—records containing Key Data Elements are required.
  • Traceability Plan: information essential to help regulators understand an entity’s traceability program. These include a description of the procedures used to maintain required records, descriptions of procedures used to identify foods on the FTL, descriptions of how traceability lot codes are assigned, a point of contact for questions regarding the traceability plan and a farm map for those that grow or raise a food on the FTL.
  • Additional Requirements: maintenance of records as original paper or electronic records, or true copies; providing requested records to the FDA within 24 hours of a request (or within a reasonable time to which the FDA has agreed); and providing records in an electronic sortable spreadsheet when necessary to assist the FDA during an outbreak, recall or other threat to public health.
JIFSAN Logo

FDA Commits $41M to Support the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

JIFSAN Logo

The University of Maryland has announced a five-year, $41 million cooperative agreement with the FDA to expand the University’s Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN).

Established in 1996, JIFSAN is an FDA Center of Excellence combining the expertise of the federal agency with UMD researchers. It promotes research, education and outreach in food safety, security and applied nutrition and has developed partnerships across industry, government and other stakeholders in support of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

“This enduring partnership and funding will allow us to continue our collaborative research efforts between UMD and the FDA,” said Jianghong Meng, professor of nutrition and food science and JIFSAN director. “We are in a new era of food safety where better protections and preventative measures are more important than ever. The last few years have shown that as a community we must all work together to eradicate illness and disease.”

The new award will be used to grow several programs, including a congressional mandate on imported aquacultured shrimp, which supports the FDA in regulating the sourcing and importing of shrimp to the United States.

JIFSAN will continue to provide graduate and undergraduate internship opportunities to UMD students who work with and are mentored by FDA scientists. In its first quarter century, the institute has provided more than 300 undergraduate internships, graduate assistantships and postdoctoral research appointments that have contributed to a variety of food safety initiatives and programs.

The institute will also conduct multi-institutional, multidisciplinary research projects and develop mechanisms for the exchange of technical information and scientific concepts. Additionally, it will continue to advance the development of educational and outreach programs designed to enhance the FDA’s efforts with other nations to improve U.S. and global health.

The funding will also help support JIFSAN as it prepares to move its offices to a new location at 5825 University Research Court in UMD’s Discovery District. The new facility includes a microbiology laboratory for research and training in whole genome sequencing as well as other advanced technologies for detecting and tracing the source of foodborne pathogens.

FDA logo

FDA Submits Final FSMA Rule for Food Traceability

By Food Safety Tech Staff
No Comments
FDA logo

On November 7, the FDA sent the FSMA Final Rule: Requirements for Additional Traceability Records for Certain Foods to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR).

The final rule includes a requirement for those who manufacture, process, pack or hold foods on the Food Traceability List (FTL) to establish and maintain records containing Key Data Elements (KDEs) associated with different Critical Tracking Events (CTEs). The FDA notes that while the proposed requirements only apply to those foods on the FTL, “they were designed to be suitable for all FDA-regulated food products. FDA would encourage the voluntary adoption of these practices industrywide.”

The final rule will become effective 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register, which the FDA anticipated would happen within one to two weeks. The compliance date for all persons subject to the recordkeeping requirements is two years after the effective date.

 

Sara Bratager

Traceability and the Need for Global Standards

By Food Safety Tech Staff
No Comments
Sara Bratager

The FDA will officially implement a new food traceability rule on November 7, 2022. While the new rule requires a detailed account of food’s origin and movements throughout production, processing and shipping, the food industry still lacks international standardized guidelines that factor in countries’ varying health and agricultural priorities. As this continues to be one of the global food system’s biggest challenges, we spoke with Sara Bratager, Food Traceability & Food Safety Scientist at the Institute of Food Technologists, to discuss where the food industry stands currently, and opportunities to establish a global standard that is mutually beneficial (and achievable) for all. 

The FDA is scheduled to finalize new FSMA traceability rule on November 7. What are some of the key changes that food manufacturers and suppliers will need to address with the new rule?

Bratager: The finalized rule will be published in November. Based on the proposed rule, it will go into effect in January 2023 (60 days after publication) and companies will have two years after that to make any adjustments needed to achieve compliance. Entities that produce, process, ship or receive any of the products on the Food Traceability List will need to capture and store the established Key Data Elements (KDEs) at each of the Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) relevant to their operation. The rule will also require companies to provide electronic traceability information to the FDA no more than 24 hours after a request is made, necessitating a significant transition from traditional paper-based traceability systems.

How prepared is the food industry to implement these changes?

Bratager: Preparedness differs throughout the food industry; some industry actors have been preparing since the release of the proposed rule, while others have chosen to forgo significant effort pending finalization of the rule. Some entities may have even engaged in unintentional preparation; companies or commodities that have been the subject of repeated recalls and subsequent traceability initiatives will likely find themselves better prepared than traceability newcomers. The food tech industry is prepared to deliver digital traceability solutions that facilitate compliance among supply chain actors, but implementation is likely to be a challenge for many. Some operations will achieve compliance with minimal disruption, whereas others will face a more burdensome effort.

How will this affect companies working with global suppliers?

Bratager: The proposed rule covers any ingredients or foods on the Food Traceability List that may be sourced from global suppliers. One of the biggest challenges for companies working with global suppliers will be coordination and communication between supply chain partners. Some companies may find themselves responsible for educating their international trading partners on FSMA requirements. However, understanding will not guarantee compliance. Some global suppliers are already reporting traceability data for domestic or other export requirements and will be hesitant to take on the burden of yet another traceability scheme. The increasingly globalized nature of our food system highlights the need for traceability standards that streamline data collection and reporting efforts through the supply chain.

Are there any efforts underway to develop global standards related to food traceability?

Bratager: Several standards exist currently. The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 22005:2007 details basic requirements for the design and implementation of food/feed traceability systems at an organizational level. GS1, the organization best known for barcodes, provides several foundational standards for the identification, capture and sharing of data; their EPCIS standard that allows disparate applications to create and share traceability event data is particularly relevant.

Food operations are incredibly unique, and widespread standards uptake will likely require a degree of customization, which is why sector or commodity-specific efforts that build upon existing foundational standards are so important. The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) provides a great example with their GDST 1.1 Standard for interoperable seafood traceability that is built upon GS1 foundations. A second example is the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI).

How can the industry and regulators move toward developing a global standard for traceability in the food industry?

Bratager: A necessary first step is alignment around the definition of traceability. Regulatory agencies and industry actors across the globe adhere to different definitions but cohesive, global progress will require alignment around a common definition for traceability.

Industry can support the creation and uptake of pre-competitive, commodity-based traceability initiatives that drive adopters toward common practices and data standardization. Interoperability must also be prioritized. Demand for interoperable data sharing will necessitate and incentivize widespread adoption of data standards.

FDA logo

FDA Announces Upcoming Webinars on Food Safety Culture and “Healthy” Food Labeling

By Food Safety Tech Staff
No Comments
FDA logo

The FDA has announced two upcoming webinars for food manufacturers and industry stakeholders. On Friday, October 21, 2022, at 1:00 pm ET, the FDA will provide an overview of its proposed rule to update the definition of “healthy” nutrient content claims for food products. The “healthy” claim acts as a quick signal on food package labels to identify foods that will help consumers build healthy eating patterns.

The FDA has proposed changes to the definition of “healthy” to align with current nutrition science, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 and the updated Nutrition Facts label. The guidance also includes the agency’s intent to exercise enforcement discretion with respect to the implied nutrient content claim “healthy” for foods that have a fat profile of predominantly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, but do not meet the regulatory definition of “low fat,” and on foods that contain at least 10% of the daily value (DV) per reference amount customarily consumed of potassium or vitamin D.

Speakers include:

  • Janesia Robbs, Communications and Public Engagement Staff, FDA CFSAN
  • Dr. Claudine Kavanaugh, Director, Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling (ONFL), FDA CFSAN
  • Dr. Sarah Gebauer, Nutritionist, Nutrition Science Review Branch, ONFL, FDA CFSAN
  • Vincent DeJesus, Nutritionist, Nutrition Assessment & Evaluation Branch, ONFL, FDA CFSAN

Registration is required. Register here.

On Wednesday, October 26, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm ET, the FDA and Stop Foodborne Illness, a nonprofit public health organization, will be host their fifth collaborative webinar, titled “Rewards and Recognition Programs.” Guest speakers will share their experiences in establishing rewards programs that drive positive food safety culture. Speakers include:

  • Shawn Fear, Director of Quality, Conagra Brands
  • Danielle Richardson, Director of Food Safety, Conagra Brands
  • Lone Jespersen, Principal and Founder, Cultivate, SA
  • Donald Prater, Associate Commissioner for Imported Food Safety, FDA
  • Conrad Choiniere, PhD, Director of the Office of Analytics and Outreach, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)
  • Vanessa Coffman, Director, Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness, Stop Foodborne Illness

Those who would like to attend the webinar can register here.

 

Steve Knuth
FST Soapbox

The Role of Temperature Monitoring and Reporting Technology in Food Safety

By Steve Knuth
No Comments
Steve Knuth

The traditional process for ensuring food safety in storage and transportation focuses on maintaining temperatures that are safe for the types of food or beverage the organization sells. Doing this without data logging technology means that the organization needs to appoint an individual to check refrigeration temperatures on a regular cadence and record that data by hand in case of an audit by the FDA.

Unfortunately, this method lacks 24/7 accountability of temperatures and allows for human error/neglect. If a refrigeration unit goes down outside of the regularly scheduled temperature monitoring cadence, the product can quickly fall outside of the designated safe temperatures. If the food is outside of the safe temperature range for an extended period, that food must be disposed of and will cost the organization a tremendous amount of time and money.

Subscribe to the Food Safety Tech weekly newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest news and information on food safety.

This problem is equally apparent in transportation. Companies often utilize third-party transportation companies, which means they are relying on someone outside of the organization to responsibly manage and record temperatures and report back to the necessary parties. But the risk of human error and equipment failure can come into play. Temperature issues can even stem from drivers shutting off refrigeration while they sleep to save diesel fuel.

The most effective way to maintain quality control within storage and transport is by utilizing real-time data monitoring with a connected high-precision data logger. Multiple types of data loggers can be used to monitor temperatures in different scenarios. These includes traditional data loggers connected by Ethernet and wireless data loggers with Bluetooth or cellular connectivity. Each version has its role in food and beverage safety.

Connected vs. Manual Loggers

In fixed cold storage, such as within a restaurant or storage facility, an Ethernet or Wi-Fi-connected data logger is a great choice due to its affordability and reliability. For users who’d like to check temperatures on their mobile device while moving around the facility, a Bluetooth logger with mobile application support can be a strong option as well.

These loggers allow the user to get a 24/7 view of their refrigeration unit and correct issues before they lead to food disposal. For instance, if a food storage unit goes down over the weekend when no one is staffing the facility, or a restaurant is closed for a holiday, and temperatures within a refrigerator fall outside of the norm, these connected loggers will alert the user via email or text to correct the issue so they can save the product from spoiling.

One tip for using a connected logger is to set the alert feature to notify the user when temperatures reach the high and low end within the safe temperature spectrum for the food or beverage being stored. This provides an alert before the unit temperature falls outside the safe range, allowing the user to take corrective action before the product falls into unsafe temperatures.

In food and beverage delivery, transport companies are liable for temperature issues, especially if corrective action is not taken. This is where a cellular-connected data logger becomes critical. With a traditional data logger, there is no way for a consignor to know whether a temperature issue has occurred, unless it is checked manually by the driver. At that point, it may be too late to save the consignment. However, cellular-based technology allows consignors to do real-time monitoring without any interaction with the transport company.

Because many shipments are made using third-party transporters, cellular-based data loggers are becoming increasingly popular for maintaining trust between the transporter and all other segments of the supply chain. These wireless loggers also allow a trusted driver to monitor conditions while in route, allowing the driver to take corrective action before temperatures reach critical ranges.

Connected Data Loggers and FSMA

Transporters must also be fully aware of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). These regulations make quality data loggers even more important as transporters may have to verify at any given moment that food was handled properly while in their possession. FSMA also emphasizes the importance of data logging technology. The act requires food handlers to develop a plan that meets the guidelines for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), which should involve an advanced data logger. Issues with data entry, misreading and misinformation are the responsibility of the transporter, and failure to comply with these guidelines can result in seizure, injunction and recalls, all of which can damage the reputation of the entire supply chain.

With all things considered, connected data loggers are extremely cost-effective technology options that can save thousands of dollars and hours of hassle. Because they can be monitored by multiple parties, the transporter or manager of a storage unit/restaurant can become aware of issues regarding temperature before the only safe course of action becomes product disposal.

Loggers help save money in the form of legal fees, compensation and premiums, while also drastically reducing the risks of consumer illness and public relations disasters. Some data logger companies also offer free cloud storage, allowing monitoring and analytics tracking in all locations, at any time of day.

With the high costs of noncompliance in the food industry, it is important for storage managers and transporters to understand that implementing high-precision, connected data monitoring tools can help put these issues to rest.

Robin Kix

Food Logistics: 7 Ways to Support Food Safety and Control Expenses

By Robin Kix
No Comments
Robin Kix

How food products are transported has a significant effect on both food safety and shrink. By understanding transportation options and leveraging new technologies, food logistics business can reduce these risks and better control expenses. Following are seven strategies to help you reduce your costs, minimize food shrink and support food safety.

1. Exercise Flexibility When Choosing Modes of Transportation

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an estimated 31% of U.S. food product is lost to waste.[1] When handling shipments of raw or cold foods, ensuring the deliveries happen on time is critical for avoiding loss due to spoilage.

Being smart about your transportation choices can help combat this issue. For example, while shipping food freight by sea is much cheaper than transporting it by air, sea transportation takes significantly longer and may result in more food shrink caused by spoilage, resulting in substantial losses. Alternative options include rail transportation with refrigerated cars or refrigerated food trucks. You can also expedite specific portions of shipments when a buyer only needs part of the shipment urgently, while shipping the remaining product using a less expensive mode of transportation with a longer delivery time.

2. Consolidate Shipments When Possible

Choosing a provider that offers less than truckload (LTL) shipping is one way that you can ship lower weights at a more affordable cost.[2] Another option to consider is consolidating shipments from multiple buyers when possible in full truckload (FTL) shipping, which can further reduce your transportation costs. Review the locations of your buyers to determine whether you can consolidate several shipments into one load to cut down your total transportation costs.

3. Engage in Smart Truck Route Planning

Empty trucks can quickly drain your resources and result in reduced profits. When possible, plan truck routes to handle collections and deliveries in the same route. You want to plan your truck routes so that you don’t have empty containers along large portions of trips. Smart truck route planning helps maximize both your driver and vehicle utilization by reducing the time vehicles spend empty while in transit.

4. Ensure Foods Being Transported Are Compatible

As a freight broker, you are required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations as a condition of your license and your freight broker bond.[3] One of the regulations you need to understand is the new sanitary food transportation rule under the FDA Food Modernization Safety Act.[4]

Under this rule, freight brokers are treated the same as shippers and have multiple duties, including ensuring that the carriers you use meet all regulatory requirements. One of these requirements is to ensure that raw foods are separated from other food products during transit. Make sure you understand which foods are compatible and that the trucks your carriers use have the required equipment. Using tech tools for truck route planning can help you prevent incompatible foods from being mixed while they are in transit, which could result in penalties and potential license and bond violations.

5. Implement Item Location Forecasting

Item location forecasting helps ensure that the right foods are being shipped to their correct destinations. When you include brands, categories and families of products, it can assist with your tactical and strategic planning. When products are delivered to the wrong place, money can be lost through spoilage, fines or additional transportation costs.

Item location forecasting tools also help ensure that the off-loading sequence of the shipments you manage are conducted by compartment. This helps businesses plan how the goods should be subdivided into trailer compartments. Ensuring carriers are following the correct loading and unloading of food products can also help ensure that they are complying with their duties under the food safety rule. When you synchronize how foods flow across the supply chain, you can realize reduced transportation costs.

6. Take Advantage of Big Data

Food products flow across the globe, generating vast stores of data. Logistics companies must track origin and destination information, shipment sizes, locations, weights, traffic, driving patterns and more to ensure shipments get to where they need to be quickly and at the lowest cost. When you employ big data in logistics, it can help you predict or avoid potential bottlenecks.

Many 3PLs and shippers already rely on data to drive decision-making. A 2021 Third-Party Logistics Study found that most use data-driven approach technology to plan for demand (83%), operations (78%) and capacity (61%).[5] Using big data in your logistics operations can help improve transparency while maximizing your resources. Automated management systems can help by automating routine tasks while controlling fleets and scheduling shipments.

7. Harness Automation

Robotics and automation can offer end-to-end tracking of products as they travel through the supply chain. In addition, they can lower labor expenses and enhance productivity. Consider using automation-guided vehicles and automated container loading and unloading. These tools can increase productivity, strengthen the safety of the environment with attached warning sensors and reduce both labor and operating expenses.[6]

In an increasingly competitive environment, food logistics companies must take proactive steps to reduce and control costs while ensuring food safety. By implementing these strategies, you can streamline your processes and realize increased profits without sacrificing safety.

References:

[1] Buzby, Jean C., Hodan F. Wells, and Jeffrey Hyman. The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States, EIB-121, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February 2014.

[2] Segal, Troy. Less-Than-Truckload (LTL). Investopedia.

[3] Lance Surety & Associates. The BMC-84 Bond: Complete Guide to Bonding for Freight Brokers. Accessed on August 22, 2022.

[4] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Summary: Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (Final Rule), March 26, 2018.

[5] Infosys Consulting. 2021 Third-Party Logistics Study: The State of Logistics Outsourcing.

[6] Jagtap, S., Bader, F., Garcia-Garcia, G., Trollman, H., Fadiji, T., & Salonitis, K. (2020). Food logistics 4.0: Opportunities and challenges. Logistics, 5(1), 2.

 

Steven Sklare, Food Safety Academy
FST Soapbox

What Is Your Company’s Level of Digital Risk Maturity?

By Steven Sklare
No Comments
Steven Sklare, Food Safety Academy

The digital transformation of food safety management programs is a common topic of discussion today, across the full range of media including print, blogs, websites and conferences. It has also been generally acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the adoption of various digital technologies. However, let’s be clear, COVID-19 may have accelerated the process, but the process was under way as the only way for food companies to efficiently cope with the increase of required compliance documentation for regulatory bodies, such as FDA, USDA, etc., non-regulatory organizations such as GFSI, and customer specific requirements. COVID-19 has added a sense of urgency, as the fragility of both domestic and international supply chains has been exposed with long-term sources of ingredients or equipment being cut off overnight. We must also overlay the need to manage food safety risk and food fraud vulnerability in real time (or even predict the future, which will be discussed further in a future article). The food industry has also had to adjust to dealing with many aspects of work and production without typical face-to-face interaction—a norm of operating within the environment of a global pandemic over the past two years.

What is not clear, however, is the meaning of “digital transformation” or the “digitization” of a food safety management program. What is not clear is what these terms mean to individual organizations. The frenzy of buzzwords, “urgent” presentations, blogs and webinars help to create an improved level of awareness but rarely result in concrete actions that lead to improved results. I admit to being guilty of this very hyperbole—in a previous article discussing “Chocolate and Big Data”, I said, “If a food organization is going to effectively protect the public’s health, protect their brand and comply with various governmental regulations and non-governmental standards such as GFSI, horizon scanning, along with the use of food safety intelligent digital tools, needs to be incorporated into food company’s core FSQA program.” Sounds great, but it presupposes a high level of awareness of those “digital tools”. What is not clear to many organizations is how to get started and how to create a road map that leads to improved results, more efficient operations and importantly, to ongoing improvement in the production of safe food.

Addressing a new concept can be intimidating and paralyzing. Think back to the beginning days of HACCP, then TACCP, then VACCP, and post FSMA, preventive controls! So, where do we start?

Nikos Manouselis, CEO of Agroknow, a food safety data and intelligence company with a cloud-based risk intelligence platform, Foodakai, believes the place to start is for food companies to perform an honest, self-assessment of their digital risk maturity. Think of it as a digital risk maturity gap analysis. While there are certainly different approaches to performing this self-assessment, Agroknow has developed a simple, straightforward series of questions that focus on three critical areas: Risk monitoring practices and tools; risk assessment practices and tools; and risk prevention practices and tools. The questions within each of these areas lead to a ranking of 1–5 with 1 being a low level of maturity and 5 being a high level of maturity. One of the goals of the self-assessment is to determine where your company stands, right now, compared to where you want to be or should be.

While this is not a complete nor exhaustive process, it helps to break the inertia that could be holding a company back from starting the process of digitizing their food protection and quality systems, which will allow them to take advantage of the benefits available from continuous monitoring of food safety risks and food fraud vulnerabilities, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.

FDA

FDA Releases New Tool to Help Farmers Understand Requirements of Agricultural Water Proposed Rule

By Food Safety Tech Staff
No Comments
FDA

Today the FDA launched a new online tool to help farmers understand the requirements of the proposed rule, “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption Relating to Agricultural Water”. If finalized, the rule would replace the microbial criteria and testing requirements for pre-harvest agricultural water for covered produce other than sprouts.

Under the proposed rule, farms would be required to conduct yearly systems-based agricultural water assessments to assess and guide measures that would reduce risks related to pre-harvest agricultural water. According to the FDA, the assessment would consist of evaluating the water system, agricultural water use practices, crop characteristics, environmental conditions, potential impacts on source water by activities conducted on adjacent and nearby land.

The Agricultural Water Assessment Builder v. 1.0 is an optional tool that asks users to answer questions and complete information specific to their farms. According to the FDA, this information is not shared with the agency, nor is it saved; users can save or print the information to their own computers.

The tool is a component of the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint, and the agency is collecting feedback on the tool’s usability and functionality.

FDA

Highlights of FDA’s 2021 Achievements in Food

By Food Safety Tech Staff
No Comments
FDA

At the end of his reflection on FDA’s 2021 accomplishments in the food realm, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas stated that he believes collaboration will enable industry to “bend the curve of foodborne illnesses in this decade”. It would be a significant milestone, and in his latest FDA Voices blog, Yiannas reviewed a host of FDA achievements that bring his statement much closer to a reality:

FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock gives of full report on the agency’s work in the “FDA 2021 Year in Review: Working For You”.

Compare this year’s review with that of 2020, where Yiannas reflected on the agency’s Food Program achievements during the first year of the pandemic and the 10-year anniversary of FSMA.