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  • Writer's pictureJennifer

9/30/23 Food Safety Community Update

Hello food safety community,

I have been behind! There have been so many topics for which I wanted to opine via blog post that I missed alerting you to some great meetings, so this post has links for on-demand versions as well as some that are yet to come.

Yesterday Sept 29, FDA held a public meeting on recall modernization (more than just food, but let’s hope ‘food’ made a strong showing!). Even if you missed the meeting, you can submit written comment to the Docket by Oct 27. Some related resources as you consider contributing to the conversation: Stop Foodborne Illness recall modernization resources; AFDOs recall modernization white paper

I’ll be moderating Part 2 of CONTACTs webinar series on Root Cause Analysis on October 5. The first ruffled some feathers (pun intended), so join in the action for part 2.

AFFI’s virtual Food Safety Forum was on Sept 13, focusing on public health risk communication (what a great topic!! Also an all star speaker lineup).

FDA announced that routine inspections for the food traceability rule would begin in 2027. The compliance date of January 2026 still stands. Does this mean you get an extra year? Not exactly! If you’re involved in an outbreak investigation in this window, FDA will expect you to have the required records. So keep working toward compliance! But the agency also recognizes that the rule is a heavy lift, and will continue to educate the industry, as they have with many other FSMA rules.

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC- FDA, FSIS and CDC) posted their priorities for the next few year, notably around Campylobacter and non-O157 STECs.

At long last, 2 new draft chapters of the Preventive Controls Guidance have been released: one is specific to acidified foods (chapter 16), the other to food allergens (chapter 11). FDA also released guidances on sprout safety- one finalizes parts of the 2017 draft guidance, and one updates the 2017 draft—still as draft (note: draft guidance still represents FDAs current thinking).

Of course the big news is that it’s the start of a new era at FDA with Jim Jones taking on the new role of Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods. What impact this will have on the FDA regulated food industry in the near short terms is worthy of a blog post. Stay tuned.

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