October 24, 2014

FDA Releases Annual Food Safety Report to Congress

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its annual Food Safety Report to Congress this week. The report covers the duties of the FDA over the past year, and is mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010. The FDA works with many federal agencies, including the CDC, EPA, USDA, FSIS, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Defense, OSHA, the FTC, and Department of Homeland Security.

According to the Report, the FDA spent $189.5 million to inspect food facilities. FDA inspection of domestic facilities cost $131.3 million, and inspection of foreign facilities cost $33.2 million. In addition, $25.1 million was provided to individual states to conduct inspections for the FDA. In FY 2011, high-risk food facility inspections cost an average of $21,100 , and non-high-risk food facility inspections costs $14,200. Foreign high-risk food facility inspections averaged $24,800 apiece.

As of December 10, 2011, there were 167,033 active registered domestic food and feed facilities and 254,088 active registered foreign food and feed facilities. But, since the foreign facility amendments to FSMA have not yet been finalized, the numbers of foreign facilities will likely change.

The total number of food import lines for FY 2011 was 10,439,236. The FDA inspected 2.3%, or 243,400 of food import lines. All import entires are electronically screened to help identify the products that pose the greatest risk. Each inspection costs $170, but if samples need to be analyzed the cost increases to $2800 each.

In the last year, the FDA has established working groups to help state and local organizations integrate into the national food safety system. Response efforts should be integrated so public health response is faster and more effective. Uniform national standards for facility inspections, lab testing, and outbreak response is a priority. These priorities are part of the FDA’s Final Strategic Plan for 2012 to 2016, which was released in April 2012.

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