The FDA's new food safety dashboard for tracking FSMA progress

Food & beverage   04 Oct 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a Food Safety Dashboard designed to track the impact of seven foundational rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), measure how companies are implementing parts of the law, and help the industry refine its implementation. The dashboard is publicly available as part of the FDA-TRACK program, the FDA’s agency-wide performance management system.

The dashboard has some data entered dating back to 2016, launched with the initial metrics of two rules from FSMA: the “Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls” rules for both human food and food for animals (preventive controls rules), and the imported food safety rule, including data relevant to the “Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) rule. 

All FDA-regulated products imported into the U.S. are required to meet the same laws and regulations as domestic food. The current data on inspections provide a snapshot into both domestic and foreign industry compliance with these regulations. The effectiveness of oversight of foreign suppliers by U.S. importers is also being measured. This will be tracked through the classification of FSVP inspections.

Measuring success over time

The FDA anticipates that these performance measures will evolve and improve over time as the agency and its partners continue to implement FSMA and collect better quality data. The FDA will update the new Food Safety Dashboard on a quarterly basis. Over time, the Food Safety Dashboard will be populated with additional data to show more FSMA outcomes in accordance with all seven of the FSMA foundational rules.

Although the primary goal of the dashboard is to prevent and stop problems in the food chain before products reach the consumer, the dashboard will also include metrics to track outbreak responses, including tracking the number of days from a recall to a public FDA press release. The agency expects that it will take several years to establish meaningful trends to evaluate progress toward achieving the performance goals presented in the dashboard. 

Smaller businesses will have a longer time to comply and post on the dashboard, and the FDA cautioned that, though the tool will provide useful information, the full benefit may not be reaped for some time. 

The FDA’s announcement underscores the agency’s efforts requiring companies to be more exacting in their prevention efforts. The data will serve as a useful barometer to understand where the overall industry is in terms of compliance. The monitoring trends will offer a fuller picture as to where the prevention laws are lacking and help lawmakers adjust accordingly.

A new era of Smarter Food Safety

Although the roll-out of FSMA is still ongoing, after nearly one decade, the food industry is now in a position to evaluate the progress made and look towards next steps. 

The FDA recently introduced the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, a campaign focusing on strengthening its protection of the food supply chain. The agency intends to develop a Strategic Blueprint that will outline how the FDA plans to leverage technology and other tools to create a more digital, traceable, transparent, and safer food system. The work will build on the advances that have been and are being made in the FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) while advancing the use of technologies that are currently used in society and business sectors, including sensor technology, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, among others.

Controlant’s real-time supply chain visibility dashboard

Much of the industry has focused on implementing preventive technology that can aid in tracking food products in the value chain in the event of a food recall. However, Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud cold chain technology can also serve as a valuable piece in the prevention puzzle. These solutions enable food enterprises to proactively track temperature-sensitive and perishable food products in real-time as they move throughout the supply chain.

Temperature greatly impacts food quality and safety, and a deviation can significantly impact consumer safety and satisfaction. Real-time supply chain visibility solutions can also help solve inefficiencies that impact the core business as well. Protecting and controlling the farm-to-fork supply chain translates to a reduction in product and operational waste, greater accountability, risk mitigation, and continuous improvement.

Controant’s Cold-Chain-as-a Service solution is threefold and combines IoT hardware, a software platform that delivers mission-critical supply chain analytics and insights, and cost-reducing operational services.

Controlant’s dashboard provides a single source of supply chain truth, delivering data on your supply chain (origins, destinations, routes, and sub-routes), on partners (logistics providers, packaging, etc.), and external points of interest (cross-docks, harbors, airports, customs).  

Learn more about our solution by getting in touch with a member of our team.

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