Arlington, Va. – American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) President and CEO Alison Bodor offered the following statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) plans to create a more digital, traceable and safer food system.
“The frozen food industry is committed to advancing food safety and we are appreciative of FDA’s pandemic response and commend FDA for proactively identifying ways to use new and emerging technologies to continue to provide Americans with the safest possible food supply.
“The agency’s new plan builds on the many improvements seen through the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the frozen food industry is committed to continuing this comprehensive, risk-based approach to food safety. We look forward to continuing to work with FDA in its efforts to modernize food safety oversight.”
AFFI’s Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs Dr. Sanjay Gummalla provided oral remarks during FDA’s public meeting in October 2019 and AFFI also submitted written comments on behalf of the frozen food industry.
AFFI’s comments focused on key priority areas of work the agency outlined today:
- Tech-Enabled Traceability and Foodborne Outbreak Response: AFFI agrees that there could be significant benefits to enhancing agency and industry communications surrounding recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks. In addition, AFFI believes that any new traceability standards should be risk-based and built on existing requirements. AFFI looks forward to working with FDA to ensure practical data standards are developed.
- Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention: AFFI strongly supports the agency’s efforts to identify more effective tools and approaches to preventing foodborne illness outbreaks. AFFI believes developing smarter tools for prevention, like strengthening procedures for root cause analysis, have the greatest potential for achieving public health benefits.
- Food Safety Culture: AFFI supports FDA’s continued focus on fostering a culture of food safety and particularly the agency’s recognition that this work must include not just regulators and industry, but consumers as well. AFFI believes the blueprint can build upon FSMA’s progress in achieving public health goals and meeting consumer expectations.
The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) is the member-driven national trade association that advances the interests of all segments of the frozen food and beverage industry. AFFI works to advance food safety and advocates before legislative and regulatory entities on the industry’s behalf to create an environment where members’ foods and beverages are proudly chosen to meet the needs of a changing world.