FDA Announces Food Tracing Pilot Studies

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) will carry out two new pilot projects under the direction of the FDA. The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), is a nonprofit scientific society consisting of professionals in the food science, food technology and related professions. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act included a requirement for this study.

The pilots will investigate efficient track and trace methods for food. The focus of the pilot project will be on the type of data that is most useful for tracing, how to connect the various point in the supply chain, and how to make data available to the FDA as quickly as possible.

The IFT will ask for stakeholder input in designing and implementing the two pilots, and will consult with the USDA, state public health agencies, and organizations that represent consumer interests. One pilot study will be done with the processed food industry to design a track and trace method for processed foods and some key ingredients. The second pilot study will be done with the produce industry to determine the best track and trace methods for selected fruits and vegetables.

IFT hopes to reflect the diversity of the food supply, find methods that are practical for businesses of all sizes, and include the farm, restaurants, and grocery store supply chains. They will also assess the cost and benefits of track and trace methods.

Once the pilot projects are complete, the FDA will initiate rule making on record keeping requirements for high-risk foods to facilitate tracing. The FDA will hold three public meetings during the comment period on the proposed rule.

For more info, check out the story on the IFT site.

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