The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the FDA has posted the first annual Reportable Food Registry document covering period September 8, 2009, through September 2010. The objective of the RFR is to alert the FDA of any safety problems that could result in serious health consequences to either humans or animals.
In terms of RFR requirements, manufacturers, processors, packers, and holders of food products regulated by the FDA are required to enter specified deviations from safety.
During the first year of operation, 229 primary reports were posted concerning food and animal feed. There were 1,872 subsequent reports from suppliers or recipients supplementing primary reports and 139 amendeds posted. Of the reports, salmonella contamination accounted for 37.6% of hazards, allergens 34.9%, and Listeria, 14% of the entries.
The primary reports included 25 commodity categories from both domestic and international sources. Salmonella was most frequently associated with rural agricultural products including spices, animal feed, nuts and seed products. The RFR will be instrumental in expediting identification of potential injurious foods and feed and will contribute to protection of food-borne outbreaks.
In commenting on the first report, Deputy Commissioner for foods Michael Taylor stated, “Several key U.S. industries are already re-evaluating their hazards and protective controls, core principles of the Food Safety Modernization Act recently passed by Congress.”