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High Risk Issue


View Detailed Plan

Transforming Federal Oversight of Food Safety

Problem: Each year, about 76 million people contract a foodborne illness in the United States; about 325,000 require hospitalization; and about 5,000 die. Fragmented US system has caused inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources.

Goal: Reduce illnesses caused by contamination of the food supply.


  • Prevent or deter intentional and unintentional contamination of food supply through risk-based, cost-effective allocation of resources.

    • Fully implement the Salmonella Initiative Program to provide incentives for meat and poultry plants whose processes control foodborne pathogens.
    • Focused inspection activities in Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)-regulated establishments to enhance FSIS inspection personnel's ability to comprehensively evaluate food safety systems and take action to minimize consumer exposure to foodborne pathogens.
    • Initiate internal review of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) food agriculture inspection requirements for the next 10 years.
  • Early detection of contamination of the food supply.

    • Build a quality public health infrastructure with data that is readily accessible to key decision-makers and front-line personnel.
    • Improve Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detection systems and improve risk-based annual import activities.
    • Conduct real time surveillance of high-risk shipments of meat, poultry, and egg products coming into the United States and vulnerability assessments focused on imports with FDA, USDA and CBP
  • Protect human health and mitigate impact of food supply contamination by responding rapidly to food supply contamination through risk-based, cost effective allocation of resources.

    • Enhancement of the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) to ensure better geographic coverage.
    • Implement Supply Chain Source Verification Requirements to accelerate both the response and the return to normalcy.
    • Initiate the development of new Rapid Response Teams built on California Food Emergency Response Team (CalFERT) model.
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