Earlier today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released "Strategy for the Safety of Imported Food," an outline of the agency's comprehensive approach to ensuring the safety of food imported in the United States.
"An important aim of the agency's strategy for the safety of imported food," writes FDA in the introduction to their plan, "is to assure Americans that food imported from abroad is held to the same food safety requirements as food produced domestically."
This has become extremely important over the years as the United States "imports food from more than 200 countries or territories and approximately 125,000 exporting food facilities plus farms." This year alone "between 14 and 15 million shipments of imported food are expected to enter the United States."
To help them achieve their mission of ensuring the safety of imported food, the FDA set their three main safety goals as:
- Preventing food safety problems in the foreign supply chain prior to entry into the United States;
- Effectively detecting and refusing entry of unsafe foods at the border; and
- Rapidly responding when FDA learns of unsafe imported foods.
A fourth, overarching goal for their entire strategy is to create an effective and efficient food import program.If you would like more information on how they plan to implement the strategy and accomplish their goals, please be sure to check out the "Strategy for the Safety of Imported Food" document here