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FDA Unveils New Imported Food Safety Plan

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

(North American Meat Institute)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week unveiled a new strategy to enhance the safety of foods imported to the U.S. FDA said the strategy is designed to meet four key goals: prevent food safety problems in the foreign supply chain before entry into the U.S., detect and refuse entry of unsafe food at the border, respond quickly to reports of unsafe imported food and measure progress to ensure that the imported food safety program is effective and efficient. As part of the strategy, FDA will take new steps, including increased inspections at U.S. ports and foreign food facilities, to ensure imported foods meet the same standards as domestically-produced food. In addition, FDA will employ a systems recognition program to identify countries that have food safety systems and oversight activities that are comparable to those of the U.S. Such a system will enable FDA to prioritize inspection and border screening activities on foods imported from higher-risk areas. The strategy also will incorporate data from FDA’s foreign supplier verification programs into its screening of high-risk foods through the Predictive Risk-based Evaluation for Dynamic Import Compliance Targeting system.

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