By Ricardo Carvajal –
FDA’s third annual report on the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) confirms the major patterns observed in the first two annual reports: foodborne pathogens and undeclared major food allergens (MFAs) continue to account for the vast majority of RFR entries (Salmonella accounted for 28.1% of entries, L. monocytogenes for 21.4%, and undeclared MFAs for 37.9%). The commodities with the largest percentage of entries for Salmonella were Produce – Raw Agricultural Commodities (RAC) (34.92%) and Nuts/Nut Products/Seed Products (12.7%). The commodities with the largest percentage of entries for L. monocytogenes were Produce – Fresh Cut (31.25%), Dairy (22.92%), and Produce – RAC (20.83%). The commodities with the largest percentage of entries for undeclared MFAs were Bakery (21.18%) and Chocolates/Confection/Candy (12.94%)
FDA notes that it is using RFR data in the agency’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act ("FSMA") in various ways, such as “to identify hazards associated with products for which we have not previously made such an association and thus identify foods for which preventive controls may be needed.” FDA also signals that it might issue an ANPRM to solicit comment on how best to implement FSMA section 211. That section amends FFDCA section 417 to authorize FDA to require the posting of “consumer-oriented information” about a reportable food in certain grocery stores. Given the other FSMA-related priorities currently on FDA’s plate, it appears that implementation of FSMA section 211 is not on the near horizon.