FDA to hold public meetings to gather input on traceability

November 4, 2009

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in a teleconference Nov. 3 that it will hold a public meeting to address traceability systems for all foods. Held in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Information Service (FSIS), the meeting will take place Dec. 9 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium of the USDA’s South Building, 1400 Independence Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

The FDA realizes that federal food safety agencies need to increase the speed and accuracy of traceback investigations and traceforward operations. This meeting will provide a venue to discuss the core elements of product tracing systems, gaps in current product tracing systems, and mechanisms to enhance product tracing systems for food. The FDA and FSIS also intend the meeting to improve the ability of the FDA and FSIS to use the information in such systems to identify the source of contamination during outbreaks of foodborne illness, and to improve the ability of all persons in the supply chain to more quickly identify food that is (or potentially is) contaminated and remove it from the market during traceforward operations. This discussion will help the FDA and FSIS determine what short and long term steps the two agencies should take to enhance the current tracing system.

Federal Register notice (pdf)