Resources and Next Steps

2018 FSMA Annual Report


The Working Group applauded recent increases in funding for food safety infrastructure, but the issues addressed in this report emphasize the need for continued resources for these activities. As CIDTs and other technologies continue to rapidly evolve, public health and regulatory agencies will face substantially increased costs in responding to the transition. For example, the increasing use of CIDTs in clinical settings will shift the burden of performing reflex cultures and additional confirmatory testing to public health laboratories. Data management and translation of tremendous amounts of new types of data into formats that are meaningful to outbreak investigators and regulators will require increased investment in laboratory and informatics infrastructure. Additional research will be needed to guide the food industry and regulatory agencies in using increasingly sensitive and detailed data to find and eliminate threats at various levels in the food chain. The number of foodborne disease outbreaks being identified by new technologies is already rising and will continue to do so. Increased resources are needed to support the use of these new technologies to improve the safety of the U.S. food supply.

Next Steps

Since its formation 7 years ago in 2011, the FSMA-SWG has met 14 times and completed seven annual reports for the HHS Secretary. In December 2017, nine new members began their terms to fill positions vacated by members whose terms had expired. There was considerable discussion of the value of the guidance provided thus far, ways to improve the FSMA-SWG meetings, and potential future topics.

Based on the discussion, examples of potential future topics include:

  • Enhancing integrated data systems within CDC and among CDC, FDA, and USDA
  • Improving root cause identification and analyses
  • Addressing challenges with imported foods
  • Building state capacity and associated performance measures
  • Providing periodic reviews of
    • Priority areas (e.g., CIDTs, WGS, antimicrobial resistance)
    • Interagency collaborations such as IFSAC, the Interagency Foodborne Outbreak Response Collaboration (IFORC), the Interagency Collaboration on Genomics and Food Safety (Gen-FS), and FoodNet
    • Trends in priority pathogens (e.g., Salmonella, STEC, Listeria, Campylobacter) and ways to prevent infections
    • “Orphan” illnesses (e.g., cryptosporidiosis, cyclosporiasis, hepatitis A)
  • FY 2020 use of WGS in outbreak detection and metagenomics
Page last reviewed: February 19, 2019