The Reportable Food Registry is released by the Food and Drug Administration every year. It is a synopsis of a one-year reporting period from the Registry. The current edition is the 5th Annual Report: September 8, 2009 through September 7, 2014. The FDA is required to establish an electronic portal. Reports about instances of reportable food must be submitted to the FDA within 24 hours.
A reportable food is an article of food or feed for which there is reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, such article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to people or animals. The RFR is considered an early warning tool for public health risks and helps the government remove contaminated foods from the marketplace.
The RFR covers all human and animal food/feed, including pet food, regulated by the FDA. The exceptions are infant formula and dietary supplements for which FDA has other reporting systems. Investigators and inspectors then plan how to develop guidance for industry, issue import alerts, and prioritize inspections based on risk evaluations.
In the current document, the number of reportable incidents has decreased, down about 30%, because industry is more familiar with the process now. But amended report submissions are increasing.
The RFR received 909 reportable food entries in Year 5. Of those, 201 were primary reports, 464 were reports from suppliers, and 244 were amended reports to add information or correct earlier submissions. RFR submissions helped trigger the recall of ready-to-eat salad products and in stone fruits for Listeria monocytogenes in 2014.
In fact, the largest number of reports were linked to those recalls. A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak was actually linked to recalled Watowan stone fruits. The recall for the fruits was issued in 2014, but the illnesses were not reported to the public until March 2015. Patients who had matching cultures to the Listeria found in the recalled fruit lived in Illinois, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Minnesota. And two recalls of salad mixes for Listeria, for Dole Salads and for Fresh Express Salads, were issued in 2014.
Undeclared allergens triggered almost half of the reports in Year 5. You can download and read the report at the FDA web site.