The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently provided a progress report on the rollout of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint. FDA hosted a webinar in October to review the first 100 days of the Blueprint. The one-hour webinar highlighted the implementation work that has already been done as well as provide insight on future efforts. FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, Frank Yiannas said that the rollout is off to a great start, but COVID-19 has created some challenges.
“FDA is committed to what I call a new level of transparency and accountability as we work to make the goals outlined in the Blueprint a reality. That work has continued through the unprecedented challenges that we’ve all faced as a result of COVID-19,” Yiannas noted. “Together I have no doubt that we will come through this crisis stronger and more resilient than ever. I believe that by embracing the New Era of Smarter Food Safety approach it will help us regain that strength. Not just the goals, but the foundational belief that we must take more modern, evolving, and smarter approaches to address and strengthen this ever-changing food safety system.”
The Blueprint is a framework to guide the FDA as it works to modernize food safety through a variety of methods. Yiannas described food safety as being “people-led, FSMA-based, and technology-enabled.” Four Core Elements of the Blueprint were highlighted during the webinar: tech-enabled traceability, smarter tools and approaches for prevention and outbreak response, new business models and retail modernization, and food safety culture. Leaders within each Core Element provided an account of the various actions taken to implement the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint.
The webinar also highlighted plans for the future. FDA will be evaluating methods for providing more opportunities to modify the culture of food safety. Communication on key issues will also be a focal point moving forward. FDA plans to further assess ways for strengthening internal food safety culture. FDA will also continue to emphasize collaboration between agencies and academic institutions to further refine assessment tools.