FDA Foods Program Releases Guidance Topics

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On June 29, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and Office of Food Policy and Response released a list of draft and final guidance topics that are a priority for the FDA Foods Program to complete during the next 12 months. 

The FDA anticipates publishing guidance for many of these documents by June 2022. The FDA stated that the agency “is taking this action to provide stakeholders increased transparency and additional insights into the foods program priorities. Guidance documents represent the FDA’s current thinking on a specific topic and the information can help stakeholders plan for potential changes that may impact their businesses and organizations. They do not impose legally enforceable requirements.”

The FDA further stated that in the future the agency “intends to release the list of anticipated human food and cosmetic guidance topics at the beginning of each calendar year with updates scheduled for mid-year.” The list released on June 29 will be updated by the end of January 2022.

The guidance topics announced include:

  • Evaluating the public health importance of food allergens other than the major food allergens
  • Questions and answers regarding food allergens
  • Policy regarding certain new dietary ingredients and dietary supplements subject to the requirement for pre-market notifications
  • Best practices for convening a GRAS panel
  • Action levels for lead in juice
  • Lead action levels for categories of foods consumed by babies and young children
  • Prevention of salmonella enteritidis in shell eggs during production
  • Reducing microbial food safety hazards in the production of seed for Sprouting
  • Labeling of plant-based milk alternatives
  • Voluntary sodium reduction goals: target mean and upper bound concentrations for sodium in commercially processed, packaged and prepared foods

Public comments on the guidance can be submitted to www.regulations.gov.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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