FDA Launches Food Safety Dashboard to Monitor Trends and Outcomes in Industry

Federal health officials officials have released a new food safety dashboard, which is intended to help monitor trends involving problems with different products, and outcomes of food recalls.

In a statement issued on September 30, the FDA announced the launch of a new FDA-TRACK: Food Safety Dashboard tool, which will monitor performance measures related to the prevention, response times, and effectiveness of programs aimed at preventing food recalls in the United States.

As part of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), FDA officials say they have shifted the focus of the nation’s food safety system from responding to foodborne illnesses, to actively preventing widespread outbreaks in the first place.

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The initiative was founded on seven rules created to ensure both the human and animal food supply are prepared and handled appropriately to prevent contamination. Those rules involve implementing preventative controls for human and animal food, advanced produce safety rules, foreign supplier verification programs, and sanitary transportation of goods, intentional adulterations, and general overall compliance with FSMA rules.

The Food Safety Dashboard is a means of tracking the overall compliance of manufacturers and distributors with the FSMA initiative, and will begin by tracking outcomes related to good manufacturing practices, risk-based preventative controls, and foreign supplier verifications.

For each of the rules, the FDA has identified a way of measuring compliance and effectiveness, and where there could be room for improvement. The FDA intends to expand the Dashboard with additional data over time.

Although the agency expects it to take several years for FSMA rules to produce effective preventative actions, data shows that since 2016, the majority of companies inspected are in compliance with the new requirements of the preventative control rules.

One of the focal points outlined in the statement is to track how quickly firms are able to announce “Class I recalls”, which are considered the most dangerous type of recalls in the industry.

Since 2016, manufacturers have cut in half the time between an event requiring a recall, to actually announcing that recall, from four days to two days.

The FDA plans to issue quarterly data tracking food safety progress metrics.

Image Credit: Photo Credit: Niloo / Shutterstock.com

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