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Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration

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Enhancing Food Safety

The Role of the Food and Drug Administration(2010)
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Recent outbreaks of illnesses traced to contaminated sprouts and lettuce illustrate the holes that exist in the system for monitoring problems and preventing foodborne diseases. Although it is not solely responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation's food supply, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees monitoring and intervention for 80 percent of the food supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's abilities to discover potential threats to food safety and prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness are hampered by impediments to efficient use of its limited resources and a piecemeal approach to gathering and using information on risks. Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration, a new book from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, responds to a congressional request for recommendations on how to close gaps in FDA's food safety systems.

Enhancing Food Safety begins with a brief review of the Food Protection Plan (FPP), FDA's food safety philosophy developed in 2007. The lack of sufficient detail and specific strategies in the FPP renders it ineffectual. The book stresses the need for FPP to evolve and be supported by the type of strategic planning described in these pages. It also explores the development and implementation of a stronger, more effective food safety system built on a risk-based approach to food safety management. Conclusions and recommendations include adopting a risk-based decision-making approach to food safety; creating a data surveillance and research infrastructure; integrating federal, state, and local government food safety programs; enhancing efficiency of inspections; and more.

Although food safety is the responsibility of everyone, from producers to consumers, the FDA and other regulatory agencies have an essential role. In many instances, the FDA must carry out this responsibility against a backdrop of multiple stakeholder interests, inadequate resources, and competing priorities. Of interest to the food production industry, consumer advocacy groups, health care professionals, and others, Enhancing Food Safety provides the FDA and Congress with a course of action that will enable the agency to become more efficient and effective in carrying out its food safety mission in a rapidly changing world.


Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2010. Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

588 pages |6 x 9
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-15273-0
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-16358-3

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-xii
Summary 1-18
Part I: Setting the Stage for Understanding and Improving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Role in the Food Safety System 19-20
1 Introduction 21-34
2 The Food Safety System: Context and Current Status 35-72
Part II: Toward a Stronger and More Effective Food Safety System 73-74
3 Adopting a Risk-Based Decision-Making Approach to Food Safety 75-120
4 Sharing the Responsibility for a Risk-Based System: Models of Governance and Oversight 121-144
Part III: Implementation of the New Food Safety System 145-146
5 Creating an Integrated Information Infrastructure for a Risk-Based Food Safety System 147-180
6 Creating a Research Infrastructure for a Risk-Based Food Safety System 181-204
7 Integrating Federal, State, and Local Government Food Safety Programs 205-236
8 Enhancing the Efficiency of Inspections 237-256
9 Improving Food Safety and Risk Communication 257-292
10 Modernizing Legislation to Enhance the U.S. Food Safety System 293-304
11 Achieving the Vision of an Efficient Risk-Based Food Safety System 305-318
Appendix A: Workshop Agendas 319-324
Appendix B: Past Recommendations About the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Program 325-370
Appendix C: Food Safety Systems in the United States and Other Countries 371-402
Appendix D: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Food Defense Program 403-450
Appendix E: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Imported Food Safety 451-492
Appendix F: Food Safety Research at Intramural and Extramural U.S. Food and Drug Administration Research Centers, by Topic 493-504
Appendix G: U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Protection Plan 505-554
Appendix H: Glossary 555-562
Appendix I: Acronyms and Abbreviations 563-568
Appendix J: Committee Member Biographical Sketches 569-576



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