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FDA Issues Guidelines for the Safety of Imported Food

2019-03-11 10:08 Monday

On February 25, the Food and Drug Administration released a statement from commissioner Scott Gottlieb, and FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas spoke about the agency's new strategy to advance its food safety mission and modernize oversight of imported food.

FDA Issues Guidelines for the Safety of Imported Food

"Today, we are taking an important new step to communicate how the FDA intends to use our modern tools authority by introducing a new, comprehensive, imported food safety strategy to address these challenges and opportunities."

FDA's new strategy aims to achieve four important goals: To prevent food safety problems in foreign supply chains before entering the United States; Effective detection and denial of unsafe food entering the United States border; The FDA responds quickly when it learns of unsafe imports; Measure progress to ensure that FDA's import food safety programs remain effective and efficient.

To achieve their first goal, which is to prevent import safety problems before entering the United States, the FDA will take new steps to continue to ensure that imported food meets the produced food standards in the United States. One way for the FDA to do this is through on-site inspections of foreign food facilities.

Because effective inspections require significant resources, the FDA's strategy will involve more modern tools to prioritize inspection companies with known risks. More and more data and information from other oversight activities and partners will inform FDA decisions. To that end, FDA also recently began implementing the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) .

The program requires importers to verify that their suppliers meet U.S. food safety standards. Some of the key requirements of the rule include compliance with hazard analysis by U.S. importers, risk assessment of food and foreign suppliers, and safety verification activities based on identified hazards, including the use of third-party audits as appropriate.

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