The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec.17 extended the period for submission of comments, scientific data and other information related to its draft document titled, “Draft Risk Profile on Pathogens and Filth in Spices.” The new deadline is March 3, 2014; the docket number is FDA-2013-N-1204.

The draft risk profile identifies the most commonly occurring microbial hazards and filth in spices and quantifies, where possible, the prevalence and levels of these adulterants at different points along the spice supply chain. It identifies potential sources of contamination throughout the farm-to-table spice supply chain and evaluates the efficacy of current mitigation and control options designed to reduce the public health risk posed by consumption of contaminated spices in the United States. It also describes potential future mitigation and control options and identifies critical data gaps and research needs.

The FDA invites comments that can help improve: (1) the data and information used; (2) the analytical analyses employed; and (3) the clarity and the transparency of the draft risk profile. The agency has extended the submission period in response to requests for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit information.

For resources related to the draft profile, information on how to make submissions, and links to the Federal Register notice, visit the FDA’s Risk Profile: Pathogens and Filth in Spices page.