Agencies Collaborate For Food Safety’s Sake

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took another step in the agencies’ collaborative efforts to measure progress in reducing illness, harm, and death from contaminated food by announcing two joint public meetings to hear stakeholder presentations on measuring progress on food safety.

The first public meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 East Wacker Dr., in Chicago. A second public meeting will be held on Oct. 20, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at The Crowne Plaza Portland Downtown, 1441 NE Second Ave., in Portland, OR.

The public meetings announced are extensions of the initial one-day public workshop held on March 30, where FSIS, FDA, and CDC discussed their collaborations on the methodological and data challenges involved in the development of feasible and effective food safety metrics. The agencies have been collaborating to reduce foodborne illness as part of the Food Safety Working Group, which has recommended a public health-focused approach to food safety based on the principles of prioritizing prevention, strengthening surveillance and enforcement, and improving response and recovery.

At the two public meetings, the agencies will hear presentations from any interested stakeholder, including members of consumer groups, industry, public health experts, and state and local regulators on the measurements they recommend or are using to assess performance in food safety. The agencies will present information on the Food Safety Working Group’s charge to create meaningful metrics to measure the effectiveness of the nation’s food safety system.

Documents and agenda items related to the two regional public meetings will be accessible prior to the public meetings at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News/Meetings_&_Events/. Meeting participants can register at this site, too.

Source: USDA news release

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