Survey finds infection through raw pet food is rare

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Monday announced their Cooperative Agreement for the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule is being extended for another five years.
FDA began the multi-year funding of NASDA in 2014  to help implement the Produce Rule.
“NASDA members have an essential role in helping to implement the FSMA Produce Safety Rule,” said NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn. “We thank the FDA for renewing their commitment to this model of cooperative federalism as we continue to work towards the proactive and integrated food safety system envisioned by Congress in 2010.”
This new agreement will provide the funding and support necessary to continue to develop policies and procedures, along with FDA and the states, that advance development and administration of produce safety programs. NASDA is tasked with determining criteria necessary to establish possible program standards and will work with the Association of Food & Drug Officials who will be under contract.   NASDA will continue to host a National Consortium for Produce Safety and will work with regional groups to foster uniformity and consistency in-state programs.
Over the last five years, NASDA has developed the NASDA Model Produce Safety Implementation Framework for states to use as a roadmap to implement the Produce Safety Rule. NASDA has also developed an On-Farm Readiness Review Process, in conjunction with the FDA and Extension services, to offer a voluntary, non-regulatory opportunity to assess a farm’s readiness for FSMA compliance.
“The continuum to implementing on-farm produce safety is important, and NASDA looks forward to timely work with FDA on the new Agreement,” said Glenn.
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories.  NASDA grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating a consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders. Learn more about our food safety work at www.nasda.org/fsma.

The cooperative agreement will provide funding that will allow NASDA to assist state and territorial produce safety regulatory programs in developing produce safety programs that encourage the safe production of fresh fruits and vegetables, understanding of the Produce Safety Rule, and compliance with the Produce Safety Rule’s requirements.

FDA’s announcement said the agreement will advance the agency’s efforts to develop a nationally integrated food safety system by helping to ensure consistency of state and territorial produce safety regulatory programs with the Produce Safety Rule.

As part of the five-year cooperative agreement, NASDA will also work with the agency to plan and host an annual National Consortium meeting of state and territorial regulatory agencies involved with implementation of the Produce Safety Rule for the purpose of providing program updates, sharing best practices, and providing the FDA with feedback on opportunities for enhancements and program adjustments. Additionally, NASDA will work closely with the FDA to implement and update the On-Farm Readiness Review system and develop a national produce safety regulatory program that promotes a uniform foundation of produce safety.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)