USA – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will hold a public meeting that seeks to engage stakeholders in the formulation of a modern food approach called ‘A New Era of Smarter Food Safety’.

Scheduled to take place on October 21, 2019, the engagement forms part of the agency’s efforts of strengthening its protection of the food supply.

FDA says that the inputs received in the meeting in addition to information submitted to the accompanying Federal Register docket will help shape an FDA Blueprint for a New Era of Smarter Food Safety.

“We intend for the strategic plan to outline how this new approach will address public health challenges,” the agency said in a statement.

Among the areas that the approach seeks to strengthen include; ability to trace sources of contaminated foods and using new predictive analytics tools like artificial intelligence to assess risks and prioritize the agency’s work and resources.

The upcoming meeting will be held at the Hilton Washington DC/Rockville Hotel, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852.

It will include breakout sessions on key topics that include traceability, smarter tools for prevention, evolving business models and retail food safety, and food safety culture.

Stakeholders are required to make advance registration before October 11, 2019, while the closing date of submitting written/electronic comments is November 20, 2019.

Through the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, the FDA plans to continue efforts to modernize how it honors its commitment to help protect consumers from foodborne illness.

Championed by the agency’s Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, Frank Yiannas the approach does not only recognize and build on the progress made in the past, but also incorporates the use of new technologies.

The technologies include blockchain, sensor technology, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence to create a more digital, traceable, and safer food system hence creating a shared value for all stakeholders — farmers, food producers, regulators, consumers, and the planet.

In addition, the Smarter Food Safety is also seeking to offer simplified, more effective and modern approaches and processes while working within and outside of FDA to foster a food safety culture that transcends borders between the public and private sector.

FDA notes that it is working towards enhancing its ongoing efforts to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to help protect consumers from contaminated food.