The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will hold a one-day virtual public meeting on Data and Technology in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety on April 24, 2024, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm EDT. The meeting is designed to help the agency improve its understanding of how it can leverage data and technology to exponentially advance food safety and achieve better health outcomes.

The New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative was launched in 2019 to signal a new approach to food safety, leveraging technology and other tools and approaches to create a safer and more digital, traceable food system. In the initiative’s Blueprint the FDA acknowledges that its activities to advance the New Era of Smarter Food Safety will evolve as technologies and the food system evolve.

The morning session of the public meeting will consist of presentations from FDA to explain its current thinking on the potential for new, innovative or different data and technology activities that could be leveraged by both government and industry to exponentially advance food safety. The afternoon session will be reserved for public comments to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to share feedback on how and where advances in data and technology can be leveraged to significantly accelerate FDA’s ability to improve public health outcomes. Beginning on April 24, 2024, a docket will open for 60 days to collect comments related to the event topic.

Topics for consideration during the public meeting include: 

  • Tech-enabled traceability
  • Predictive analytics 
  • Data sharing
  • Whole genome sequencing (i.e., GenomeTrakr)  
  • Ways to use technology to monitor and gather data 
  • Technological innovation in equipment design, digital tools, and training methods

The agency says it will also welcome feedback on new and emerging areas of innovation (e.g., use of virtual reality in food safety training) that may not have been addressed in the Blueprint. 

The feedback it receives from this public meeting, and in comments submitted to the accompanying docket, will help the FDA identify activities we should prioritize within the New Era of Smarter Food Safety framework and shape further stakeholder engagement opportunities.

Participants who wish to speak during the afternoon public comment session must register as indicated on the meeting page. As mentioned, the FDA will open a public docket to receive additional comments about these topics. A link to the public docket will be posted on the meeting page when the public docket opens on April 24th.  

There is no cost to attend the virtual public meeting, but registration is required. Please see the meeting page link below for further details.