Saudi FDA crowned 2021 winner of UN Inter-Agency Task Force Award

SAUDI ARABIA – The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has been named champion of the United Nation’s (UN) award for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It was honored for its efforts to prevent and control these diseases through nutrition-related legislation. In line with the Vision 2030 Quality of Life Program, the authority set out in 2018 to improve public health and enable consumers to find a variety of healthier food options. The UN Inter-Agency Task Force Award on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases aims…

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Foodborne illness outbreak data identifies 4183 outbreaks

U.S – The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) has  identified 4,183 outbreaks that occurred from 1998 through 2019 and that were confirmed or suspected to be caused by Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria or Campylobacter, including 198 outbreaks that were confirmed or suspected to be caused by multiple pathogens or serotypes. IFSAC is a tri-agency group created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), to improve data and…

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US’s Florida state partners with food safety watchdog to curb foodborne disease outbreaks

U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that Florida has entered into a domestic mutual reliance agreement with the agency, joining California, Utah and Wisconsin states, in bid to curb foodborne illness outbreaks. Erik Mettler, assistant commissioner for partnerships and policy in the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), pointed out that foodborne illness outbreaks are largely preventable, but when one occurs it can have devastating consequences for consumers. “The FDA is committed to keeping Americans safe. As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s…

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FDA introduces new guidelines aimed at reducing sodium intake in American population

U.S – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its guidelines on sodium levels for 163 foods, including those that are commercially processed, packaged and prepared, placing food companies in the US under renewed pressure to cut on salt use. The new guidelines are aimed at cutting the average person’s intake by 12%, by reducing sodium levels in dozens of foods including condiments, cereal, french fries and potato chips. The FDA aims to cut the average sodium intake from 3,400 to 3,000 milligrams a day over the next 2.5…

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FDA publicizes study results on E-coli occurrence in romaine lettuce

U.S – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has publicized the findings of a sampling assignment it conducted on romaine lettuce in Yuma County, Arizona between February and March 2021 to determine the presence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), specifically enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), and Salmonella spp. This assignment was part of the FDA’s ongoing surveillance following multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks of foodborne illness in recent years linked to or potentially linked to romaine lettuce. Helping to ensure the microbiological safety of leafy greens continues to be…

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FDA’s study shows efficiency of Whole Genome Sequencing program in combating foodborne illnesses

U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a study on the effectiveness of the GenomeTrakr Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) Network, a scientific tool that helps the FDA detect, investigate and limit the spread of foodborne illness outbreaks linked to FDA-regulated foods. The FDA estimates that the program was likely cost effective in its second year of implementation and at current funding levels, the program is generating US$100 million to US$450 million in net annual health benefits. These estimated benefits of the WGS source tracking program easily…

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FDA Ghana presents licenses to MSMEs to enable seamless operations

GHANA – The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has presented licenses and some tool kits to some cottage/micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) under its Progressive Licensing Scheme (PLS) programme, to enable them operate properly under regulations. The 30 cottage industries from the Greater Accra region, who deal mainly in cereal production, particularly, “Tombrown”, a popular Ghanaian breakfast porridge, were selected with the help of the Ghana Enterprises Agency and taken through series of intensive training in “Good Manufacturing Practices, effective product labelling and food safety. The FDA partnered…

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FDA introduces new Office of Digital Transformation to back its public health mission

U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the reorganization of the agency’s information technology (IT), data management and cybersecurity functions into the new Office of Digital Transformation (ODT), to better assure the safety of the nation’s food. The office has been realigned to report directly to the FDA commissioner, buoying up the office and its functions to agency-level. This reorganization will advance the agency’s information technology transformation with improved data and IT competencies that improve agency operations to support the public health mission. The restructuring is…

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FDA declares champions of Tech-enabled Traceability Challenge

U.S – The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has eventually announced the winners of the “New Era of Smarter Food Safety Low- or No-Cost Tech-enabled Traceability Challenge” which was launched this year in June. The challenge is part of a goal set forth in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint to encourage the development of creative financial models for low- to no-cost traceability solutions that would enable food producers of all sizes to participate in a scalable, cost-effective way. Tech-enabled traceability is one of the foundational…

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FDA to host New Era of Smarter Food Safety Summit on E-Commerce

U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Federal Register Notice to formally announce a three-day public meeting to discuss the safety of foods sold online and delivered directly to consumers. The FDA New Era of Smarter Food Safety Summit on E-Commerce: ‘Ensuring the Safety of Foods Ordered Online and Delivered Directly to Consumers’ will take place virtually in October 19-21, 2021. The summit is designed to help the agency improve its understanding of how human and animal foods are sold through Business to Consumer (B2C)…

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