FDA Launches Food Safety Dashboard To Track Impact Of Seven FSMA Rules

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a “Food Safety Dashboard” designed to track the impact of the seven foundational rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), measure their progress, and help the agency continue to refine its implementation.

On Monday, FDA announced the availability of the initial metrics that begin to track outcomes for three FSMA rules in the areas of inspections, including the preventive controls rules for both human food and food for animals, as well as imported food safety, including data relevant to the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) rule.

The preventive controls for human food rule requires preventive controls for food facilities aimed at reducing foodborne contamination (i.e., with physical, chemical and biological hazards).

Facilities subject to the rule are required to implement a written food safety plan that includes: evaluating the hazards that could affect food safety; specifying what preventive steps, or controls, will be put in place to significantly minimize or prevent the hazards; specifying how the facilities will monitor and verify these controls to ensure they are working; maintaining routine records of the monitoring and verification; and specifying what actions the facility will take to correct problems.

Facilities subject to the preventive controls rule must have and implement a risk-based supply-chain program if the hazard analysis identifies a hazard that: requires a preventive control, and the control will be applied in the facility’s supply chain.

Over time, the Food Safety Dashboard will be populated with additional data to show more FSMA outcomes.

All FDA-regulated products imported into the US are required to meet the same laws and regulations as domestic food. The current data on inspections provide a snapshot into both domestic and foreign industry compliance with these regulations. FDA is also measuring the effectiveness of oversight of foreign suppliers by US importers. This will be tracked through the classification of FSVP inspections.

FDA recognizes that the prevention-oriented system that FSMA created is not failproof. With this in mind, the agency is also tracking the speed of the response to problems when they do arise.

One of the metrics FDA is beginning to track on the dashboard is how quickly a company issues public notification for a Class 1 recall, the most urgent type of recall, for human and animal food. The dashboard will be updated periodically with metrics for “Days from Recall Initiation to Firm Press Release to the Public.”

Many factors will influence the interpretation of the data, especially in the early phases of ...

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