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FDA promises ‘new era of smarter food safety’

The Food and Drug Administration plans to develop a “Blueprint for a new era of smarter food safety.”

In an April 30 press release, acting FDA commissioner Ned Sharpless and deputy commissioner Frank Yiannas, issued a statement on this strategy, which will focus on traceability, digital technology and evolving business models.

FDA plans to hold a public meeting later this year to discuss smarter food safety, receive stakeholder comments, and share ideas, strategies and initiatives.

Thanks to technological advances, the FDA leaders said “a wide variety of foods are now available to Americans conveniently, year-round, and at affordable prices. But it doesn’t stop here. We expect to see more innovation in the agriculture, food production, and food distribution systems in the next 10 years than we’ve seen in the past 20, which will continue to provide an even greater variety of food options and delivery conveniences to American consumers. With this ever-changing landscape, we know we must continue preparing to take advantage of new opportunities and address potential risks.”

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb resigned in March, after overseeing several food safety issues with romaine lettuce, culminating in an advisory right before Thanksgiving for consumers, retailers and restaurants to throw away and stop selling romaine, which left produce industry leaders frustrated.

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services