Resources and Next Steps
2019 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 increasingly large 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.
Since its formation 8 years ago in 2011, the FSMA SWG has met 16 times and developed eight annual reports for BSC discussion and transmittal to the HHS Secretary. 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
- Periodic enteric disease surveillance system reviews
- Providing updates of interagency collaborations (e.g., IFSAC, IFORC [Interagency Foodborne Outbreak Response Collaboration], Gen-FS [Interagency Collaboration on Genomics for Food and Feed Safety])
- Addressing challenges with imported foods (globalization of food)
- Improving identification of recurring outbreaks and working with regulators to identify and eliminate their root causes
- Building state capacity (e.g., CoEs and OBNE [OutbreakNet Enhanced]) and workforce development (e.g., informatics)
- Addressing Illnesses involving pathogens less frequently associated with foods or outside of CDC DFWED’s focus (e.g., cryptosporidiosis, toxoplasmosis, hepatitis A)
- Industry updates related to sharing surveillance data, legal issues, and product labeling to assist traceback
- Identification of stealth sources (e.g., spices)
- Improving surveillance and outbreak data to support FDA’s effort to potentially measure changes in foodborne illness due to implementation of FSMA-related regulations
- Population Survey