The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued the first annual report on its Reportable Food Registry (RFR) designed to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks.
Summarizing 2,240 online food safety reports from the food industry and public health officials between September 2009 and September 2010, the report “is a measure of our success in receiving early warning problems with food and feed,” states FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor in the preface.
Report findings apparently show that 37.6 percent of the reported food hazards were caused by Salmonella, 34.9 percent by “undeclared allergens/ intolerances” and 14.4 percent by Listeria. The report highlighted “two particularly significant issues in multiple commodity groups that require attention”: (i) Salmonella found in such products as spices and seasonings, produce, animal feed and pet food, nuts and seeds; and (ii) allergens and intolerances in fare including baked goods, fruit and vegetable products, prepared foods, dairy, and candy.
“Several key U.S. industries are already reevaluating their hazards and preventive controls, core principles of the Food Safety Modernization Act recently passed by Congress,” notes Taylor. “We anticipate improved reporting as we continue our vigorous outreach to food facilities through federal, state, local, and foreign agencies, to help us expand the positive effect of the RFR on the safety of the U.S. food supply.”