Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat salad products and stone fruits account for the greatest number of submissions between September 8, 2013 and September 7, 2014, according to the 5th Annual Food Registry Report.
Overall, the number of submissions declined 30 percent from the previous year, falling to 909. Of these, 201 were mandatory primary reports submitted by industry; 464 were subsequent reports as a result of primary reports; and 244 were amended reports, updating previously submitted primary or subsequent reports. Undeclared allergen reports have continued to rise, accounting for up to 47 percent of the reports. Dairy reports also saw a slight uptick; seafood and animal food/feed reports were down.
The Reportable Food Registry was established by Section 1005 of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007, which required FDA to establish an electronic portal through which responsible parties or public health officials must submit to the agency instances of reportable food within 24 hours. A reportable food is food/feed for which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, it will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. The purpose of the registry is to provide a reliable mechanism to track patterns of food and feed adulteration to support FDA efforts to target limited inspection resources to protect the public health. The report also recognized four industry initiatives to improve food safety:
-Guidance on Environmental Monitoring and Control of Listeria for the Fresh Produce Industry: A guidance document was published by the United Fresh Product Association with the intention of reducing the risk of Listeria monocytogenes in fresh and fresh-cut produce.
-Allergen Resources for the Baking Industry: The American Bakers Association published an online list of resources to assist in the identification and management of potential food allergens.
-Spices and Seasonings Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Guidance: The American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) published GMP guidance as well as Principles of Physical Cleaning guidance to help ensure the production of clean, safe spices for consumers.
-Cantaloupes and Netted Melons Guidance: Developed by a broad, national coalition of industry stakeholders and government representatives, the “National Commodity-Specific Food Safety for Cantaloupes and Netted Melons” working group published online guidance to help ensure food safety in cantaloupe production.