The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) has announced the results of its 2021 State Food Safety Resource Survey. The survey looked at inspection work done by state food safety regulatory programs which ensure the safety of the food supply in the areas of manufactured food, retail food, milk, produce, meat/poultry, and shellfish.
Due to disruptions that may have occurred due to COVID-19, the survey looked at work completed during the 2019 calendar year versus 2020.
"State food safety programs provide a critical service for the public by ensuring the safety of the foods consumers eat," says Natalie Adan, AFDO president. "Regulators are continually working with the industry to control factors that may lead to food contamination or foodborne illness. This survey illustrates the need these resources address."
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration performs 3,500 human food inspections annually along with another 4,000 completed under contract by states, the states themselves are completing more than 41,000 additional inspections in these food manufacturing facilities, far more frequently than federal oversight, the survey showed.
“The extensive work accomplished by states in manufactured food highlights how key these state programs are to regulatory oversight in these facilities. [If this oversight were absent], many more food emergencies, outbreaks, and recalls would result,” notes Steven Mandernach, executive director of AFDO.
The survey highlighted 1,262,668 inspections, 37,731 compliance actions, 355,772 laboratory analyses, and 1,604,817 pounds of adulterated food worth an estimated $31,383,272 embargoed or quarantined.