NEW ERA OF SMARTER FOOD SAFETY : FDA’s Blueprint for the Future

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Smarter Food Safety to me means always looking to the future. Our destination − safe food for
our families, our children, and our animals − is unchanged. But how do we get there more quickly
and effectively using modern tools as the world transforms around us?

Introduction

What is the New Era of Smarter Food Safety? While we have made advancements in food safety over the past decade, rates of foodborne disease in the U.S have not changed significantly. Our ultimate goal is to bend the curve of foodborne illness in this country by reducing the number of illnesses. Essentially, we are building on the work we’re doing to create a modernized food safety regulatory framework while also leveraging the use of new and emerging technologies and approaches to strengthen
our predictive capabilities, accelerate prevention, speed outbreak response, and enhance our ability to swiftly adapt to crises that could affect the food supply.

When we look at how industries track, through digital means, the real-time movement of planes, ride sharing, and packaged goods or how firms are harnessing big data to identify trends, it is clear FDA and our stakeholders should be looking at how to tap into new technologies that include,
but are not limited to, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, sensor technologies, and blockchain.
That said, while technology is an important part of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, it’s more than that. It’s about simpler, more effective, modern approaches and processes.

It’s about leadership and creativity. It’s about fostering a food safety culture that transcends borders between the Smarter Food Safety is people-led, FSMA-based and technology-enabled.
The tools and authorities granted by FSMA create a flexible framework that is adaptable to the changing food safety environment. We continue to make progress in implementing the seven foundational rules that are the FSMA building blocks, which created standards for the
production, transportation and importation of human and animal food. Major compliance dates have arrived, inspections are being conducted, and challenges are being addressed.

Fully implementing the remaining FSMA-mandated requirements will help to further prevent contamination.

Yet, our prevention framework must continue to evolve.

Advances in detection technologies (e.g., whole genome sequencing and enhanced analytics) mean that more outbreaks are being detected than would have been possible to detect in the past. Recognizing this reality, FDA aims to focus on further modernizing prevention, quickly identifying contaminated food, and helping to ensure that it is removed from the marketplace.

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