After a 4-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn announced the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint, introduced by Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas.
FDA's ultimate goal with the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint is to bend the curve of foodborne illness in this country by reducing the number of illnesses.
The Blueprint outlines a new 10-year approach to food safety, leveraging technology and other tools to create a safer and more digital, traceable food system. There is also much focus on simpler and more effective, modern approaches and processes, leadership, creativity, and culture. FDA's approach includes partnerships with government, industry, and public health advocates based on a commitment to create a more modern approach to food safety.
The New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint is centered around four core elements:
- Tech-enabled Traceability
- Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention and Outbreak Response
- New Business Models and Retail Modernization
- Food Safety Culture
These are the foundational pillars of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, covering the range of technologies, analytics, business models, modernization, and values that are its building blocks. These elements, working together, will help create a safer and more digital, traceable food system.
Also, in terms of leverage new technologies, FDA is conducting a pilot program that will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to strengthen the agency's review of imported foods at ports of entry to help ensure they meet U.S. food safety standards. A proof of concept application of AI and machine learning models to historical shipment data indicates that FDA can expect very promising results from this pilot.