FDA Strives to Prevent Foodborne Illness

WASHINGTON -- The National Academy of Sciences' report, "Scientific Criteria to Ensure Safe Food," commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reinforces the progress FDA has already made in reducing and preventing foodborne illness. The report specifically attributes some of this progress to the adoption of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) approach to food safety that the FDA has already applied to seafood, fresh juice, and is voluntarily applied in the dairy industry.

The report also calls for clearer links in the overall U.S. food safety system between food safety standards and public health outcomes. FDA supports this general goal as a sound public health approach, and has already made progress in reducing the incidence of foodborne illness in collaboration with Healthy People 2010 and CDC's FoodNet and Pulsnet.

Programs such as these are instrumental in reduction of foodborne illness and in promoting of preventive controls such as HACCP.

FDA has set a goal of reducing foodborne illness associated with Salmonella enteriditis in shell eggs by establishing regulations including labeling, refrigeration and other preventive controls.

FDA's strong system for regulating food safety and security is based on sound and up-to-date science, including the science of risk assessment. Its collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the USDA on such innovative food borne illness tracking systems as FoodNet and PulseNet have greatly strengthened the federal government's ability to manage outbreaks of food borne illness.

The FDA is committed to continuing its close collaboration with its public health partners at all levels of government to make the current food safety system as effective as possible. The agency remains open to new solutions and approaches to ensuring food safety and security.

To the extent that the NAS report calls for new legislative authority and additional resources, FDA will work closely with the Administration and the Congress to evaluate any innovations designed to make the U.S. food supply even safer.

Source: FDA