The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that it is partnering with Stop Foodborne Illness to co-host a webinar series entitled “Collaborating on Culture in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety.” The first session of the series, entitled “Key Concepts in Addressing Food Safety Culture as a Science – Not a Slogan,” will air on Thursday, November 4, 2021, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET.
FDA has developed the webinar series to advance its focus on the importance of a robust food safety culture, a core component of FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety Initiative. This initiative builds on the work FDA has done to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and “to bend the curve of foodborne illness in this country by reducing the number of illnesses.” The New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint, released in July 2020, is centered around four foundational elements: (1) tech-enabled traceability; (2) smarter tools and approaches for prevention and outbreak response; (3) new business models and retail modernization, and (4) food safety culture. As these core elements confirm, FDA aims not only to leverage technology (including new data analytical techniques and other tools) to create a safer and more digital, traceable food system, but also to encourage food companies to develop a strong food safety culture, which the agency believes is a prerequisite to effective food safety management.
According to FDA, attendees of this webinar series should expect a collaborative exchange of ideas by public and private sector food safety leaders on the value of fostering, supporting and strengthening food safety cultures to help ensure the safe production of food, and the role of science-based metrics in assessing their effectiveness. Hopefully, FDA will also provide clarity on how a robust food safety culture is defined, how it intends to educate its investigators on the characteristics that indicate a facility has a strong food safety culture, and how companies' positive food safety culture can factor into reduced inspection frequencies.
To learn more about this webinar, including how to register for the webinar, visit Save the Date: Food Safety Culture Webinar.