The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a one-day virtual public meeting on data and technology in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety on April 24, 2024, from 10:00 A.M.–4:00 P.M. ET. The meeting is designed to help the agency improve its understanding of how it can leverage data and technology to exponentially advance food safety and achieve better health outcomes.

Additionally, beginning on April 24, 2024, a docket will open for 60 days to collect public comments related to the event topic. A link to the public docket will be posted on the meeting page when the public docket opens on April 24.  

The morning session of the public meeting will consist of presentations from FDA to explain the agency’s current thinking on the potential for new, innovative, or different data and technology activities that could be leveraged by both government and industry to exponentially advance food safety. The afternoon session will be reserved for public comments to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to share feedback on how and where advances in data and technology can be leveraged to significantly accelerate FDA’s ability to improve public health outcomes. Participants who wish to speak during the afternoon public comment session must register ahead of time.

Topics for consideration during the public meeting include:

  • Tech-enabled traceability
  • Predictive analytics
  • Data-sharing
  • Whole genome sequencing (WGS), for example, GenomeTrakr  
  • Ways to use technology to monitor and gather data
  • Technological innovation in equipment design, digital tools, and training methods.

FDA also welcomes feedback on new and emerging areas of innovation (e.g., use of virtual reality in food safety training) that may not have been addressed in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint.

The feedback FDA receives from the public meeting and subsequent comments will help the agency identify activities it should prioritize within the New Era of Smarter Food Safety framework and shape further stakeholder engagement opportunities.

The New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative was launched in 2019 to signal a new approach to food safety, leveraging technology and other tools and approaches to create a safer and more digital, traceable food system. In the initiative’s blueprint, FDA acknowledges that its activities to advance the New Era of Smarter Food Safety will evolve as technologies and the food system evolve.