233851 Enhancing food safety: The role of the food and drug administration

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Robert B. Wallace, MD, MSc , College of Public Health C21N GH, UIHC, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA
Maria Oria, PhD , Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC
Recent food-related outbreaks and recalls illustrate the challenges in preventing foodborne illness and have generated heightened attention on the nation's food safety oversight system. The ability of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discover potential threats to food safety and prevent outbreaks are hampered by impediments to efficient use of its limited resources. An ad-hoc committee of the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council responded to a congressional request to examine the gaps in public health protection and to identify opportunities for improvement in the food safety system under the purview of the FDA. The committee evaluated the current FDA food safety program by looking at its strengths and weaknesses, factors that may limit its achievement, and necessary enhancements. Concrete recommendations include adopting a risk-based process to prioritize efforts and interventions, including prioritizing funding for communication, surveillance and research; improving FDA's scientific and information technology infrastructure for research and data utilization; enhancing the efficiency of inspection of food facilities; harmonizing and integrating food safety programs at the federal, state, and local levels; modernizing legislation; and implementing organizational changes in the national food safety system such as the establishment of a centralized, risk-based analysis and data management center. The report's findings and recommendations provide a roadmap for the FDA to become more efficient and effective in carrying out its food safety mission.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss strengths and limitations of the FDAs food safety program identified by an Institute of Medicine and National Research Council committee; 2) Describe needed enhancements to the FDAs food safety program; 3) Explain the importance of integration of food safety programs at all levels of government in order to achieve an effective and efficient national food safety system.

Keywords: Food Safety, IOM

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I chaired the Institute of Medicine committee and co-edited the report on which the presentation is based.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.