Yinqing Ma, Ph.D., is the Director of Compliance Policy Staff in the Office of Compliance at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA’s CFSAN). Dr. Ma leads the development and implementation of compliance policies, initiatives, and programs for CFSAN-regulated products. She also co-leads food allergens and economic adulteration initiatives at CFSAN. Dr. Ma received her B.S. and M.S. degrees and her Ph.D. in Food Science from Cornell University.

Carol D’lima, Ph.D., is a Food Technologist in the Division of Food Labeling and Standards in the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling at FDA’s CFSAN. She is the subject matter expert working on allergen and gluten-free labeling issues. She develops all related regulations, guidances, and technical documents, and responds to relevant inquiries from stakeholders in these areas. She has served in her current role for nearly a decade. Dr. D’lima received her B.S and M.S. degrees at Purdue University and her Ph.D. in Food Science from North Carolina State University. 

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Dr. Ma and Dr. D’lima [3:17] about:

  • Key takeaways from FDA’s recent analysis of allergen recalls of regulated products from 2013–2019, such as common causes for allergen recalls and prominent food allergens involved in recalls
  • The failure mechanisms that contribute to labeling errors for allergens, and how can companies address them
  • The number and causes of recalls seen by FDA since sesame became an official major food allergen under the FASTER Act
  • Ways in which FDA is addressing the practice of food companies intentionally adding sesame to their recipes and product labels to circumvent the need to conduct cross-contact controls
  • FDA’s methods for enforcing food allergen requirements
  • FDA’s future plans for research into allergens and allergen recalls trends post-2019.

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