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Food Safety Issues and Priorities for New Jersey and the Nation Richard M.Ritota Program Manager

Food Safety Issues and Priorities for New Jersey and the Nation Richard M.Ritota Program Manager NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SENIOR SERVICES Food and Drug Safety Program. JANUARY 2010. CHANGES AND CHALLENGES Trends in Consumption. Consumer demand for items 24/7, year round

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Food Safety Issues and Priorities for New Jersey and the Nation Richard M.Ritota Program Manager

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  1. Food Safety Issues and Priorities for New Jersey and the Nation Richard M.Ritota Program Manager NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SENIOR SERVICES Food and Drug Safety Program JANUARY 2010

  2. CHANGES AND CHALLENGESTrends in Consumption • Consumer demand for items 24/7, year round • Convenience foods are increasing in popularity • Increasing global food supply - Up to 20% of our food is now imported - Up to 35% of our produce is now imported 1

  3. CHANGES AND CHALLENGES • Increasing numbers of high risk individuals • Elderly • Immune compromised • New foodborne pathogens being discovered • Bioterrorism • Deliberate adulteration for economic gain • High profile outbreaks in recent years • Diminished consumer confidence • Complex distribution chains 2

  4. SEQUENCE OF EVENTS 106 U.S. Hatcheries Feed Canadian Fish Feed Manufacturer 2 China Suppliers Aquaculture Farms (2) Poultry Farms Ingredients& Meals Slaughter House 3 Feed Ingredient Manufacturers Feed Mill Feed Hog Farms Scraps Scraps 5 U.S. Importers 14 Pet Food Manufacturers Ingredients & Meals Offal/Meat/Bone Meal 5 Rendering Plants Scraps Pet Food 3

  5. CHANGES AND CHALLENGES • Improved surveillance • - Pulse Net • Liability • Ethnic populations • = new products • Media attention – “the perfect recall” • “outbreak frenzy” • Produce safety ** 16.3 MILLION IMPORT LINES ** 9.1 MILLION FOOD LINES ** Estimated 4


  7. PRESIDENT’S FOOD SAFETY WORK GROUP • Prioritizing prevention • Strengthening surveillance and enforcement • Improving response and recovery • Need to modernize food safety statutes 6

  8. FOOD PROTECTION Cross-Cutting Themes • Focus on risks over a product’s life cycle • Target resources to achieve maximum risk reduction • Gather the science • Rank products based on risk • Focus prevention and intervention • Integration of food safety and food defense • Use science and modern technology systems 7

  9. A NEW PARADIGM Reactive Proactive 8

  10. FDA AS A PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY Success defined as: Promote health Prevent illness Prolong life vs. Number of facilities inspections Margaret Hamburg, M.D. FDA Commissioner May 2009 - present 9

  11. FDA AS A PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY March 2009 recall of pistachios: • No consumer illness • Inspection revealed no segregation between roasted and raw products • Voluntary recall resulted, based upon attempt to minimize consumer exposure to a potential health risk 10

  12. REPORTABLE FOOD REGISTRY (RFR) • RFR = an electronic portal for industry to report when there is reasonable probability that an article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences. • Purpose = helps the FDA track patterns and target inspections. The RFR applies to all FDA-regulated categories of food and feed. • Exclusions = dietary supplements and infant formula 11

  13. REPORTABLE FOOD REGISTRY (RFR) • FDA Registered Food Facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are required to report when there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, an article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. • A responsible party is not required to report if it found the problem before the food was shipped, and corrected the problem or destroyed the food. 12

  14. REPORTABLE FOOD REGISTRY (RFR) The reporting firm must: • Investigate the cause of the adulteration • Consult with FDA on follow-up measures 13

  15. FDA PRODUCE UPDATE • FDA Issues Draft Guidances for Tomatoes, Leafy Greens and Melons; July 2009 • Become final after public comment • Evolve to enforceable standards within next couple of years • FDA to be sensitive to “wide diversity of practices, commodity, geography and scale of operation” 14

  16. H.R. 2749, THE “FOOD SAFETY ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2009,*” • Enhanced ability to require sanitation and preventive controls at food facilities, based on a scientific hazard analysis; • The ability to access basic food safety records at facilities; (routine vs. emergency) • Enhanced ability to use resources in a flexible manner to target highest risk food to achieve the maximum gain for public health; • Enhanced ability to establish performance standards to measure the implementation of proper food safety procedures; and • The ability to require mandatory recalls. *Companion Bill - S. 510 15

  17. IMPORT UPDATE“only as good as your ingredients” • 230,000 registered foreign facilities • Same standards as domestic facilities • Support a strong accredited third party audit system • Increase high risk inspections • Establish FDA posts 16

  18. FDA EGG FINAL RULEJuly 2009 • The rule requires that measures designed to prevent Salmonella be adopted by egg producers with 3,000 or more laying hens • Exemption for producers whose shell eggs are pasteurized or treated by other means • Egg producers must register with FDA • Egg producers must have a prevention plan and maintain records to demonstrate rule compliance 17

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  20. NJ FOOD SAFETY Five-year plan for 2002: • Do more with less • Incorporate partnerships in all phases • Science-based rule modernization 20

  21. NJ FOOD SAFETY • Prevention • Outreach and education • Increase corporate responsibility and due diligence food defense best practices and self-evaluations • Intervention • Identify high-risk activities and products • Prioritize field work • Risk-based inspections • Increase lab capacity • Initiate targeted sampling • Improve abilities of inspection staff 21

  22. NJ FOOD SAFETY Five Year Plan for 2002 (continued): • Response and Recovery • Site-specific emergency plans • Emergency Action Planning Guidance • Identify critical infrastructure in the food sector 22

  23. NJ FOOD SAFETY • New 5 and 10 year (?) plan • Rule amendments - Rapid cooling for shellfish post harvesting - Refrigeration temperatures for some food commodities 23

  24. RECOMMENDATIONS Step 1: take food safety seriously • Grasp these numbers: • 5,000 fatalities, 325,000 hospitalizations and 76 million illnesses • Most illnesses are at the State and local level • Guilty by association • Liability 24

  25. LIABILITY • In most states the entire “chain of distribution,” whether you are a manufacturer (a farm is) or retailer, is responsible if a product causes harm. That means the farmer or manufacturer, the shipper, and the retailer will be responsible legally to the consumer for all damages caused by the product. • Depending on the state, a court may apportion damages between various members of the “chain.” • However, if the original manufacturer or other in the food chain is bankrupt or has limited assets (including insurance), others in the chain may be left “holding the bag.”

  26. RECOMMENDATIONS Action Steps • Understand Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) concept - HACCP centers on a proactive approach to prevent food contamination rather than the identification and control of contamination after it has occurred • Understand basic food microbiology 25

  27. RECOMMENDATIONS • Do more to advance employee hygiene • For firms not a member of a professional association - join one that provides food safety information and services • For associations - build and expand partnerships including academia and government - Sharing information – recalls 26

  28. EDUCATION AND OUTREACH: INDUSTRY“Protect Your Produce, Protect Your Customers” • Geared towards food industry • Helps food managers to develop a risk-basedapproach • Encourages firms to protect their customers by exercising illness prevention strategies • An example of corporate responsibility 27

  29. EDUCATION AND OUTREACH: Regulator and Industry“Parts of a Food Label” • A visual education tool for inpsctors to communicate food label requirements • Encourages corporate responsibility by providing a tool that food establishments can use to self-check labels 28

  30. “BUZZWORDS” • Educate • Proactive • Risk-based • Prevention • Communicate • Partnerships/collaboration • Corporate responsibility bzzzz… 29

  31. FOR MORE INFORMATION All educational materials are available at FDSP website: http://nj.gov/health/eoh/foodweb/ Contact the Food and Drug Safety Program at: (609)826-4935 richard.ritota@doh.state.nj.us 30

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