Pandemic Challenges Highlight the Importance of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety
Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs, and Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response issued an update regarding progress and challenges with the development of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint.
In March, we were a few days away from announcing the release of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint when the FDA’s focus turned to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our plans for the New Era initiative were rightfully put on hold in order to prioritize the agency’s COVID-19 response. As a public health agency, we will always prioritize any threat to the health of the American people.
The FDA will release the blueprint in the coming weeks, outlining our plans over the next decade to create a more digital, traceable, and safer food system. The challenges that have arisen during the pandemic have made it clear that the actions called for in the blueprint will strengthen how we approach the safety and security of the food supply, not just in the normal course of events but especially in times of crisis.
In fact, over the past few months we have revised the blueprint in light of the lessons learned during the pandemic. It is clear that COVID-19 has accelerated the need for these measures. Some element of the blueprint are particularly meaningful now, and we’d like to touch on these, starting with tech-enabled traceability.
Read the entire update here.