Erik Mettler is Assistant Commissioner for Partnerships and Policy within the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In this role, he serves as advisor to the Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs on the full range of ORA's activities including partnerships, implementation of new laws and regulations, and overall strategic planning and prioritization. He is responsible for providing long-range strategic direction for ORA policies and programs including the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Michael Rogers is Assistant Commissioner for Human and Animal Food (HAF) operations at FDA's ORA, focusing on inspection- and compliance-related issues in the human and animal food programs and overseeing the program directors for east and west HAF operations, as well as state cooperative programs. Mr. Rogers joined FDA in 1991 as a Field Investigator in the Baltimore District. He then became a Supervisory Investigator at the Northern Virginia Resident Post, a Branch Director at FDA headquarters, the Director of the Division of Field Investigations, and later the Director of FDA's Latin American Office.

Travis Waller is the Director of Regulatory Services for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, where he has served since 2014. He oversees five regulatory program areas including retail and manufactured foods; weights and measures; dairy inspection; egg; and poultry grading and inspection, bedding, quilted clothing, and upholstered furniture. Mr. Waller has worked in retail food safety for the past 21 years in both industry and government. 

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Erik, Michael, and Travis [17:14] about:

  • Division of labor between FDA and states for surveillance inspections
  • Memorializing the Domestic Mutual Reliance (DMR) relationship between FDA and Utah with a formal agreement
  • Details about the Non-Contract Inspection (NCI) program and how states qualify for it
  • How DMR enables better coordination between FDA, states, and localities on recalls and outbreaks
  • Coordinating consumer complaints and corrective actions
  • Lessons learned on building out an integrated food safety system through an integrated workforce under DMR agreements
  • Identifying best practices state-by-state
  • Innovation in DMR agreements throughout the COVID pandemic
  • Benefits of formal DMR agreements between FDA and states.

News and Resources

FDA Releases Report on Salmonella in CEA Leafy Greens [3:14]

Related story:  Is CEA being Oversold?

FDA Announces New Egg Regulatory Program Standards [9:28]

FDA Allows Certain Rule Exemptions for Supply Chain Crisis [11:53]

Europe to Ban Titanium Dioxide in Food from Mid-2022 [13:06]

Titanium Dioxide Podcasts:

99% Invisible Podcast: Their Dark Materials

Chemistry World – Titanium Dioxide

and just because … 99% Invisible: Rock Paper Scissors Bus

Register for the Food Safety Summit: May 9–12; Early Bird ends March 31

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