U.S. agencies measure progress on food safety

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took another step in the agencies' collaborative efforts to measure progress in reducing illness, harm, and death from contaminated food.

They announced two joint public meetings to hear stakeholder presentations on measuring progress on food safety. The two meetings are being held in Chicago, Ill., on July 21, and in Portland, Ore., on October 20.

The public meetings announced are extensions of the initial one-day public workshop held on March 30, 2010, where FSIS, FDA, and CDC discussed their collaborations on the methodological and data challenges involved in the development of feasible and effective food safety metrics. The agencies have been collaborating to reduce foodborne illness as part of the Food Safety Working Group, which has recommended a public health-focused approach to food safety based on the principles of prioritizing prevention, strengthening surveillance and enforcement, and improving response and recovery.

At the two public meetings, the agencies will hear presentations from any interested stakeholder, including members of consumer groups, industry, public health experts, and state and local regulators on the measurements they recommend or are using to assess performance in food safety. The agencies will present information on the Food Safety Working Group's charge to create meaningful metrics to measure the effectiveness of the nation's food safety system. They also will present current thinking, focusing on how these metrics might be applied to evaluate the success of FDA's shell egg safety rule, FSIS implementation of broiler chicken controls, and CDC's efforts to collect and analyze human disease data. Additionally, the agencies will present information about the shared list of metrics that was developed by them to support the work of the Food Safety Working Group.

Documents and agenda items related to the two regional public meetings will be accessible prior to the public meetings on the FSIS webpage here.
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