July 11, 2020

FDA is Improving the Reportable Food Registry

Today the FDA is improving the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) by adding some crucial elements to the portal. The agency is adding a questionnaire to increase the Registry’s information gathering capacity. Consumers, physicians, industry insiders, and regulators can submit reports about food that may cause illness or death.

RFR helps the FDA do its job by tracking patterns of foodborne illness outbreaks and targeting inspection resources. Facilities that “manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are required to report when there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, an article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.” Physicians and health care workers are required to report certain illnesses and bacterial infections to authorities.

The elements added to the portal include:

  • The reason the food is reportable, such as bacterial or viral contamination.
  • A description of the root cause of the reportable food.
  • An explanation of the process used to determine which lots or batches are affected.
  • Whether or not the food has been removed from commerce.
  • A description of corrective actions taken to avoid repeating the reportable event.
  • Description of the bacterial isolate.
  • Whether the responsible facility has notified suppliers and customers about the food.

You can find the Safety Reporting Portal at the Health and Human Services web site.

The FDA has also set up a guide for consumers to help them report problems to the FDA, including tips for reporting, a quick-reference chart to decide which agency to contact, and the types of problems the FDA does not handle.

For instance, if a serious, life-threatening event is occurring, and a food, supplement, or human or animal drug is suspected, the FDA has a 24-hour emergency line (1-866-300-4374 or 1-301-796-8240). Consumers can also call FDA’s Consumer Complaint Coordinators for serious adverse event reporting or food-related non-emergencies.



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