The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new video series, titled, Into the Dataverse, which focuses on how the agency is modernizing its use of data. Data modernization is a fundamental goal in FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint.

The first video in the series provides an overview of 21 Forward, a data analytics tool that enhances supply chain transparency by integrating and analyzing real-time data from multiple sources, including government agencies and industry. Data provided by 21 Forward has enabled FDA to anticipate potential problems and manage risks before issues escalate.

FDA developed 21 Forward in 2020 and it has been used in times of crisis—specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic and the infant formula shortage—to monitor the food supply chain for possible disruptions. The tool has helped FDA respond more quickly and accurately to problems, and its use represents how data modernization could further food safety.

The video on 21 Forward has been released ahead of an upcoming Food Safety Magazine (FSM) webinar discussing elements of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint. Among the webinar’s speakers is FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, Frank Yiannas, who is also featured in the video on 21 Forward. The webinar, which takes place on February 21, 2022 from 2:00–3:00 PM ET, is the third in a series with FDA on the agency’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint. Past webinars in the series can be found and accessed on-demand from the FSM webinars page.