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What is The New Era of Food Safety? (Part 1 of 5)

by Eric Moore, Director of Food Safety & Industry Relations, Testo North America

I have been asked this question several times in recent weeks by friends, co-workers as well as some industry counterparts. My immediate reply, how much time do you have? The normal reply is to be provided an overview, which I respond with the New Era of Smarter Food Safety is the FDA’s plan to modernize the food agriculture, manufacturing, distribution, and service industry.  In this 5-part blog series we are going to pretend that you said you have some time and want a more in-depth perspective to understand how it might impact your multi-site foodservice locations.

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In early 2019, FDA’s newly appointed Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, Frank Yiannis, announced that the administration would be developing a plan to modernize the U.S. food safety system and that industry will play a role in shaping the plan. This was followed up by FDA holding a public meeting in October of 2019 where various workshops were conducted, and public comments were able to be made. Fast forward to July of 2020 and FDA unveiled the New Era of Smarter Food Safety – FDA’s Blueprint for The Future. The Blueprint represents a new approach to food safety by FDA that is intended to leverage modern approaches and technology to better protect public health and retail and foodservice has not been left out. This is somewhat of a change from recent initiatives (FSMA in particular) that primarily focused on food agriculture, manufacturing, imports/exports and distribution. As stated in the Blueprint “While we have made advancements in food safety over the last decade, rates of foodborne disease in the U.S. have not changed Significantly. Our goal is to bend the curve of foodborne illness in this country by reducing the number of illnesses”.

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In this blog series we will explore the core elements of the blueprint in more depth and touch on the anticipated impacts and timelines to the retail and food service industry:

  • Technology Enabled Traceability
  • Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention and Outbreak Response
  • New Business Models and Retail Modernization
  • Food Safety Culture

Watch the FDA New Era of Smarter Food Safety announcement video to get an introduction to the FDA leaders responsible for managing the process. You can also watch the FDA's webinar on the first 100 Days of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety.

In our next post we will dive into the New Business Models and Retail Modernization core element and how things could take shape in the retail and foodservice industry.





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