The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed nearly a decade ago, but with the naming of former Walmart VP Frank Yiannas as FDA’s Deputy Commissioner of Food Policy and Response, food safety “modernization” became an overarching initiative rather than general FSMA compliance.
As such, Yiannas and former Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless announced a new approach it is calling “New Era of Smarter Food Safety.” As explained by Yiannas, “Smarter Food Safety is people-led, FSMA-based, and technology-enabled.”
In a strategic blueprint the agency is developing, FDA will outline how it plans to leverage technology, and other tools, to create a more digital, traceable and safer food system. It will build FSMA while advancing the use of technologies. But smarter food safety is also about leadership and creativity, along with simpler, more effective, and modern approaches and processes.
In October, FDA held a public meeting at which it sought public input on the blueprint development, including areas of Tech-Enabled Traceability and Foodborne Outbreak Response, Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention, Adapting to New Business Models and Retail Modernization, and Food Safety Culture. Even with the option of online attendance, the in-person capacity was reached, with participants from all areas of the industry providing input. FDA plans to release the blueprint in early 2020.