FDA proposes new rule on food traceability

The FDA has proposed a new rule that it says lays the foundation for ‘farm-to-table’ traceability across the US food industry.

The rule aims to establish additional traceability recordkeeping requirements “beyond what is already required in existing regulations,” according to the agency.

It applies to organisations that manufacture, process, pack or hold foods the regulator has designated for inclusion on a food traceability list, which includes foods that pose particular safety risks such as foodborne illnesses.

It includes soft cheeses, eggs, various fresh fruit and vegetables including ready-to-eat salads, as well as some types of fish and seafood like lobster and oysters.

The FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, Frank Yiannas, said in a statement that “we lack a harmonised system of traceability from farm to fork that is universally understood and utilised.”

He went on: “This means that during an outbreak investigation, our ability to rapidly track and trace specific food products through the supply chain is often impeded by a lack of data.”

FDA says the proposed rule will create a first-of-its-kind standardised approach to traceability recordkeeping that should make it easier to introduced more digital track-and-trace systems in future.

“What we are proposing today has a direct impact on preventing foodborne illness,” said Yiannas.

“More comprehensive traceability through access to records of key data elements associated with critical tracking events in food production and distribution has the potential to help us pinpoint the exact sources of foods involved in outbreaks.”

The availability of the traceability records that are set out in the proposed rule would also help limit the scope of recalls and in some instances, allow the FDA to better target consumer advice, avoiding ‘blanket’ alerts on whole commodity sectors, according to the FDA.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top