Each week, we’re scouring the headlines for the stories and trends changing the food safety landscape.
In this week’s round-up: FDA finalizes Food Safety Modernization Act; Whole Genome Sequencing protects consumers from illness; and Forbes India asks “can you really trust what you eat?”
After years of revisions and public comments, the Food Safety Modernization Act is ready.
It’s official. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that four years since its proposal, the Food Safety Modernization Act is final. The document “establishes science-based standards for safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables for human consumption.” It also defines the term “farm,” and clarifies which entities can claim exemptions.
“The final rule is a combination of the original proposal and revisions outlined in the supplemental proposal, with additional changes as appropriate.”
Whole genome sequencing a powerful tool in the fight against pathogens.
The FDA is leveraging Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to protect consumers from foodborne illness. WGS reveals a pathogen’s genetic footprint. The groundbreaking technology is fast, easy to use, and cost effective. Information about a pathogen can be shared and tracked through a database, and used for disease surveillance or investigation in real time. The GenomeTrackr database is an FDA initiative which currently holds 142,000 sequenced pathogen strains. Partner countries worldwide are contributing to the data.
“…the most effective use of WGS in foodborne disease surveillance requires coordination and collaboration to provide a global health benefit for every country that shares its data.”
What options do businesses have when consumers lose faith?
With far reaching and highly publicised incidents of adulterated food, consumers have lost trust in suppliers. But there are ways to win back consumer trust. Transparency and credibility can improve when businesses are willing to look at their supply chain. By reviewing partnerships with co-packers and third-party suppliers, evaluating hygiene and storage, and anticipating changes from upcoming legislation; companies can strengthen their supply chain. It is no longer enough to rely on food science – leaders must look at preventative, risk-reducing strategies to keep their product and their brand safe.
“Building trust is a winning strategy that all successful food companies are prioritising and investing in to win customer preference and thus market share.”
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