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Science and Collaboration Are Critical to Future Food Safety

FSMA Featured Article

Science and Collaboration Are Critical to Future Food Safety

December 02, 2015
By Ken Briodagh
Editorial Director

Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA, recently attended the recent 2015 Food Safety Consortium in Schaumberg, Illinois. While there, he joined the public health organization STOP Foodborne Illness as they honored Nancy Donley for her 22 years of ‎relentless advocacy for improving food safety. Donley began her work because of her son Alex, who died at 6 years old in 1993 when he ate a hamburger contaminated with E. coli. STOP also honored Walmart’s Frank Yiannas as a STOP Food Safety Hero for his work to define and instill food safety culture as a primary value in the food industry.

He reflected on his experience at the STOP event in his remarks to the Food Safety Consortium the next day. And, in a recent blog post on FDAVoice, he said that the attending food safety professionals made it clear to him that they are focused on the future, and working to address all the changes that the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will bring.

The FDA, he wrote, are also looking ahead. He acknowledged the challenges ahead in FSMA implementation, but said that overcoming those challenges will be an opportunity to fulfill the obligations inherent in FSMA to protect kids like Donley’s son.

Taylor ended with a lovely series of mission statements. “Food safety is a primary value for many in the food system. It must be so for all. Science-based prevention is the organizing principle for many food production systems. It must be for all. And a spirit of common cause and collaboration on food safety, which has begun to take root in so many positive ways, must be the foundation for all the work ahead to successfully implement FSMA.”

Science will win here, but we won’t get all the way to a fully safe food supply chain without collaborative compliance, so keep up the good work, folks. 

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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