FDA Publishes Second Annual Reportable Food Registry ReportApril 23, 2012
By Ricardo Carvajal —
FDA’s second annual reportable food registry (RFR) report confirms that foodborne pathogens and undeclared allergens continue to account for the vast majority of instances of reportable food. There has been little change in the total number of primary reports submitted (i.e., initial reports submitted by industry or public health officials). However, FDA commented on changes in the numbers of reports for certain commodities, with the caveat that two years of data preclude “meaningful statements about trends or patterns”:
• There was a rise (from 14 to 27) in the number of reports submitted for produce, attributed by FDA to sampling by USDA under its Microbiological Data Program.
• There was also a rise (from 17 to 25) in the number of reports submitted for spices and seasonings. FDA expects that number to decline with the issuance of guidance by the American Spice Trade Association. In addition, FDA is conducting a “risk profile” that will “describe the nature and extent of public health risk posed by consumption of spices by identifying the most commonly occurring microbial and filth hazards in spices,” and that will identify mitigation and control options.
• There was a rise (from 14 to 20) in the number of reports for undeclared allergens in baked goods, which will also be addressed in guidance developed by industry.
FDA claims to have put RFR data to use in “very important ways” (e.g., to identify “commodity risk points” and develop guidance for preventive controls, to support the issuance of import alerts and import bulletins, and to “target inspections, plan work, and identify and prioritize risks”).