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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

The Reportable Food Registry First Annual Report: September 8, 2009 – September 7, 2010 – A Governmental Success Story

The first annual Reportable Food Registry Report shows that, as Congress intended, the RFR can help FDA track patterns of food and feed adulteration and target FDA’s inspection resources to identify adulterated food/feed and prevent foodborne illnesses.

“This report is a measure of our success in receiving early warning on problems with food and feed,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Michael Taylor. “The data in this report represents an important tool for targeting our inspection resources, bringing high risk commodities into focus, and driving positive change in industry practices – all of which will better protect the public health.

The report summarizes the Registry’s first year of operation (September 8, 2009 – September 7, 2010) and finds that it logged 229 primary reports – initial reports about a safety concern with a food or animal feed (including food ingredients); 1,872 subsequent reports from suppliers or recipients of a food or feed for which a primary report had been submitted; and 139 amended reports to correct or add information to previously submitted reports. Reports were received from both domestic and foreign sources.

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Among the 229 primary reports, Salmonella accounted for 37.6 percent of hazards, undeclared allergens/intolerances accounted for 34.9 percent, and Listeria monocytogenes accounted for 14.4 percent. The primary reports involved products in 25 commodity categories. The report draws the attention of the food industry to the RFR data on two particular hazards:

• Salmonella in spices and seasonings; raw agricultural produce; animal feed/pet food; and nut and seed products; and,

• Allergens/Intolerances in bakery goods; dried fruit and vegetable products; prepared foods; dairy and candy.

The report, entitled, The Reportable Food Registry: A New Approach to Targeting Inspection Resources and Identifying Patterns of Adulteration—First Annual Report: September 8, 2009 – September 7, 2010, can be seen at http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodSafetyPrograms/RFR/ucm200958.htm, Or, Download PDF Here.

  • Bob

    I agree that it is a success. I must admit I was skeptical of the RFR. But the RFR has not only identified potential outbreak situations before they happened, it prompted FDA to consider how validated preventive controls could be used in place of “zero tolerenace” for identified products. Yes, there were hiccups in the implemenation, but those early problems will ultimately be solved and serve as learnings for future programs.