2019 Annual Report to the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services: FSMA Surveillance Working Group, BSC, DDID


The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 (FSMA), signed into law on January 4, 2011, authorized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a diverse working group of experts and stakeholders to provide routine and ongoing guidance to improve foodborne illness surveillance systems in the United States. Accordingly, in fiscal year (FY) 2012, CDC established a FSMA Surveillance Working Group (FSMA SWG) under the Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC), Office of Infectious Diseases (now Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases, DDID), a federal advisory committee. FSMA also required this working group to provide an annual report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services with advice and recommendations regarding the improvement of foodborne illness surveillance. This eighth annual report summarizes the FSMA SWG’s activities during FY 2019 and the BSC/DDID’s recommendations based on the findings of the FSMA SWG.

The FSMA SWG held two 2-day meetings in FY 2019, convening in December 2018 and again in May 2019 at CDC in Atlanta, to review and respond to specific questions on foodborne illness and outbreak surveillance projects in the following areas:

  • Improving governmental coordination, integration, and collaboration
  • Evaluating and improving surveillance systems
  • Enhancing external stakeholder collaboration and communication

The December 2018 Working Group meeting focused on responding to specific questions on CDC foodborne illness surveillance data systems and strategies, the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) activities and analytic approaches, and recent significant produce outbreaks.

The May 2019 meeting focused on a review and discussion of two major topic areas: the challenges and opportunities of whole genome sequencing (WGS) for illness detection and response, and water as a food safety program.

The Working Group applauded recent increases in funding for food safety infrastructure, but the issues identified in this report emphasize the need for continued resources for these activities.

Page last reviewed: April 7, 2020