Friday, May 27, 2016

FDA Report on 5th Annual Review of Reportable Food Registry

FDA released their 5th annual report from entries into Reportable Food Registry.

The Reportable Food Registry (RFR or the Registry) is an electronic portal to which reports about instances of reportable food must be submitted to FDA. "A reportable food is an article of food/feed for which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, such article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals."

The findings in this report provide a summary of the issues experienced within the food supply chain. These issues are seen in the many recalls reported.

Highlights from Report:

  • Overall, the 50 primary reports for Salmonella in Year 5 remained similar to the 58 primary reports observed in Year 4.
  • Data from the fifth year of operation of the RFR indicates that spices and seasonings account for the majority of Salmonella-related reports.
  • The largest decrease in Salmonella was observed in the animal food/feed (including pet food) commodity, with a total of 6 primary entries in Year 5 compared to 18 entries in Year 4, representing 31% of Salmonella entries in Year 4 and decreasing to 11.8% of total Salmonella entries in Year 5.
  • The 38 primary reports in Year 5 for Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) show a slight increase from the 35 primary reports in Year 4, representing 19.0% of total entries in Year 5.
  • Produce- RAC accounts for 21.1% of all Lm related reports with 8 primary entries followed by prepared foods and produce- fresh cut, with 7 and 6 primary entries, respectively. 
  • The largest decrease in Lm was observed in the seafood commodity with 6 primary entries in Year 5 compared to 12 primary entries in Year 4.
  • The presence of unlabeled allergens presents a significant health hazard for food allergic consumers and allergen recalls represent an economic burden for industry and a resource need for FDA. 
  • The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires that the labels of all packaged foods regulated by FDA declare the presence of any of the eight common food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans) which the Act terms “major food allergens.” 
  • Unlabeled allergens continue to be the leading cause of recalls and a leading cause of reportable foods for FDA regulated foods.
  • Undeclared allergen-related reportable food reports have steadily increased since inception of the RFR program, representing 30.1% of reports in Year 1 and rising to 43.6% of reports in Year 4.
  • Year 5 demonstrated an increase in undeclared major food allergen related reports representing 95 entries or 47.0% of the total primary entries compared to 88 entries or 43.6% of the total primary entries in Year 4.
  • The bakery commodity accounts for 23 of the total of 88 entries. Within the bakery commodity, the most frequently reported food types were cookies, muffins, and cakes.
  • Sulfite-sensitive individuals must avoid the ingredient due to potential health consequences, FDA regulations require that the presence of any sulfiting agent be declared on food labels, as described in 21 CFR Part 101.100 (a) (4).
  • There were 5 primary entries for Undeclared Sulfites in Fruit and Vegetable and Seafood Products in Year 5.

  • Primary RFR entries for foods from international sources remained similar in Year 5 with 37 primary entries, representing 18.4% of the total 201 primary entries, compared to 38 primary entries in Year 4.
  • The 37 entries in Year 5 encompassed the following five food safety hazards: Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Undeclared Allergens, Lead, and Undeclared Sulfites distributed across 13 commodities
  • Thirty-seven of the 201 primary reports for Year 5 (18.4%) concerned imported foods or ingredients, coming from 24 different countries. When entries for all years are combined, there are 52 different countries represented

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