FDA to Usher the US Into a New Era of Smarter Food Safety FDA Retail & FoodService
Today’s technology-focused world has morphed the way our society operates, creating a highly complex and globally interconnected landscape that is fundamentally changing the way foods move from farm to table. We’ve evolved from a system that sources foods from “around the corner” to “around the world” and are now redefining the “last mile” with the emergence of various direct-to-home food delivery models. Thanks to these advances, a wide variety of foods are now available to Americans conveniently, year-round, and at affordable prices. But it doesn’t stop here. We expect to see more innovation in the agriculture, food production, and food distribution systems in the next 10 years than we’ve seen in the past 20, which will continue to provide an even greater variety of food options and delivery conveniences to American consumers. With this ever-changing landscape, we know we must continue preparing to take advantage of new opportunities and address potential risks. At the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, we’ve already made great strides modernizing and further safeguarding the U.S. food supply chain with implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Since FSMA was signed into law in 2011, the FDA has proposed and finalized critical regulations that have established science- and risk-based standards for the production and transportation of domestic and imported foods. The FDA has also had great success leveraging technology to advance food safety, especially in the use of new analytical tools. For example, we developed and led the domestic and international effort to build a first-of-its-kind network of laboratories that can sequence the genomes of foodborne pathogens and then upload the genomic sequence and the geographic location from which the pathogen was gathered, into a publicly accessible database. Known as the GenomeTrakr Network, this new tool is a paradigm-changing development to facilitate foodborne outbreak investigations.