Fresh Herbs Results as of 10/1/2019
The FDA plans to collect 1,600 fresh herbs samples (761 domestic, and 839 of international origin) under this assignment. As of September 30, 2019, the agency had collected and tested 746 domestic samples (98 percent) and 468 import samples (56 percent) of the totals. The following figures summarize the interim sampling results. As the testing is still underway, no conclusions can be drawn at this time.
Processed Avocado and Guacamole Results as of 10/15/2019
The FDA initially planned to collect 1,600 processed avocado and guacamole samples (800 domestic, and 800 of international origin) under this assignment. In July 2018, the FDA adjusted its collection target to 1,200 samples (936 domestic, and 264 of international origin) after initial sampling confirmed that a relatively small number of firms produce and/or distribute processed avocado. The agency’s intent was to avoid biasing the data by oversampling product from the same firms and to minimize the burden on industry. Further, the FDA learned that an increasing number of processors have begun to use high pressure processing, which is a kill step. In March 2019, the FDA further reduced its collection target to 1,056 samples (824 domestic, and 232 of international origin) given the 35-day lapse in appropriations that began on December 22, 2018, and the associated impact on the workload of the agency’s field staff.
The FDA has stopped its collection of processed avocado and guacamole samples, coinciding with the close of FY2019. The final collection total is 887 samples (777 domestic, and 110 import). The final collection total, as compared to the original target, will increase the margin of error of the prevalence estimate from 0.5 percent to approximately 0.65 percent. The FDA has recently begun its analyses of the data; final figures and a breakdown of the findings will be included in the forthcoming summary report.