Editor's Note: Electronic food facility registration goes live

THE FOOD AND DRUG Administration(FDA) introduced a new electronic registration system for both foreign and domestic food facilities in mid-October. Available online at www.cfsan.fda. gov/~furls/ovffreg.html, the system is designed to bolster the safety and security of America's food supply and help with quick identification and notification of food processors and other facilities involved in any deliberate or accidental contamination of food.

"Registering online will be fast and simple," said Commissioner of Food and Drugs Mark B. McClellan. "Our site will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, available to anyone in the world with access to the Internet. This new system will permit 400,000 facilities to register worldwide in 60 days."

FDA is encouraging electronic registration because it is faster and more efficient than paper registration. Each firm registering online will receive a unique registration number, which will be required for doing business in the U.S. beginning December 12, 2003. Paper registration may be submitted via regular mail or fax. Facilities will not be charged for registration, which is a one-time procedure.

In another step to keep the nation's food supply safe, last month FDA sent Congress a report detailing its progress to develop rapid tests and sampling methods to improve the agency's ability to identify contamination of food.

The report, entitled "Testing For Rapid Detection of Adulteration of Food," responds to provisions in the Bioterrorism Act that charged FDA with developing faster methods to detect adulterated foods and animal feed at U.S. ports of entry that do not unduly delay the flow of food.

According to the report, FDA currently has over 90 different active research projects involving test and sampling methodology development. Research includes: developing and validating effectiveness of rapid testing technology and methods for detecting potential biological, chemical and radiological threat agents in foods; and developing and assessing processing technologies and systems that may mitigate or eliminate potential biological and chemical threats to the food supply. The full report is available at

FDA maintains its position that there is not a high likelihood of a terrorist attack in the next year. It did say there is a high likelihood of a significant foodborne illness outbreak in the next year (as there is every year) and that one possibility is that the outbreak would come from a terrorist attack. The actual likelihood of a significant terrorist attack on the food supply in the next year is difficult to quantify precisely, FDA says.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Joyce Fassl, Editor-in-Chief

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2015

Mars Chocolate was chosen as Food Engineering’s 2015 Plant of the Year. The first new Mars candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering April 2015 Cover

2015 April

The April 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the Plant of the Year: Mars Chocolate. The first new Mars chocolate candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.