U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has responded to recommendations put forth by the Conference for Food Protection (CFP) during its 2023 Biennial Meeting held in April in a move towards enhancing food safety protocols in the United States.
The CFP, a nonprofit organization, plays a pivotal role in shaping food safety guidance in the U.S. Its collaborative approach, involving industry, regulatory bodies, academia, consumers, and professionals, ensures a comprehensive perspective on food safety laws and regulations.
The FDA, in its response, has acknowledged several significant changes proposed by the CFP that cover vital aspects of food safety regulations.
The regulator has conceptually agreed on a range of proposals, including amendments to the Food Code concerning double handwashing and nail brush usage, defining or revising terms like “managerial control” and “reusable containers,” and incorporating plan reviews into various standards.
Additionally, the FDA has acknowledged suggestions related to the reduction of cross-contamination risks, adding off-site warewashing facilities, and confronting issues like bakers using sesame flour without proper labeling.
Areas for future consideration
While the FDA has partially concurred with certain recommendations, such as including rice acidification parameters and clarifying cook-chill processes, there are areas where further consideration is needed.
For instance, the FDA is evaluating proposals related to the use of gloves as disposable utensils and cleanup procedures for vomit and diarrhea.
Some recommendations, including the interpretation of the 2022 FDA Food Code’s investigative authority and the formation of a committee for sea moss and sea gel, are currently under review.
The FDA is also exploring ways to streamline the retail sushi Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) process for increased efficiency.