July 17, 2018

Third Annual FDA Reportable Food Registry Released

FDA-logoThe FDA has released its third annual Reportable Food Registry, which identifies patterns of adulteration and targets inspection resources. It also provides early warning on problems and public health risks from reportable foods from September 2011 to September 2012.

A reportable food is “an article of food/feed for which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, such article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.” There are four data elements that are an important part of the report: the reasons the food has been determined to be reportable, such as pathogenic bacteria; a description of the root cause of the reportable food to identify how the problem occurred; a brief description of corrective actions taken to avoid repeating the problem; and the commodity type of the reportable food.

The number of entires increased to 1095 from 882 in Year 2. But Year 1 had the highest number of entries because of a Salmonella outbreak in Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein that resulted in 1071 reports. The events, or problems, that generated the reports were: Listeria monocytogenes in fresh cut onions produced by Gill’s Onions of California, Salmonella Braenderup in mangoes imported from Agricola Daniella, and undeclared milk in a snack bar.

There were 262 total reports in Year 3, up from 139 reports in Year 1 because more facilities are submitted amended reports, which include updates about company investigations of problems and efforts to correct them. Reports about spices and seasonings decreased. Fresh cut produce reports increased. And undeclared allergens reports increased.

Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food and Veterinary Medicine said, “we can use the data to identify hazards associated with products for which we have not previously made such an association and thus identify foods for which preventive controls may be needed. The data are also being used to help target inspections, plan work, identify and prioritize risks and develop guidance for industry.”

The FDA’s rules for Preventive Controls for Human Food and Produce Safety were finally released this year, which should address many of hte problems highlighted in the report. In addition, the FDA is going to work with the food industry to identify problems and develop solutions. The Food Safety Modernization Act also requires that the FDA must gather consumer-oriented information about a reportable food, including identification codes, lot and batch numbers, contact information, and a description of the food.

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