Food Safety Talking Points for Post-Tsunami Safety Communications – 3/22/2011
The U.S. enjoys one of the world’s safest food supplies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, have systems in place to assure that our food supply, both domestic and imported, is safe to eat.
If the government has any reason to believe that food coming into or produced in the U.S. has been tainted, we will keep it from entering into the stream of commerce.
FDA has jurisdiction over 80 percent of the food supply, including seafood, dairy and produce. USDA regulates meat, poultry and processed egg products, while FDA regulates all other food products.
FDA’s Core Messages
FDA has a team of more than 900 investigators and 450 analysts in the Foods program who conduct inspections and collect and analyze product samples.
Altogether, FDA screens all import entries and performs multiple analyses on about 31,000 import product samples annually. During Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, the Agency performed more than 175,000 food and feed field exams and conducted more than 350 foreign food and feed inspections.
FDA works to inspect imports that may pose a significant public health threat by carrying out targeted risk-based analyses of imports at the points of entry.
If unsafe products reach our ports, FDA’s imports entry reviews, inspections, and sampling at the border help prevent these products from entering our food supply.
Although FDA doesn’t physically inspect every product, the Agency screens shipments of imported foods products before they reach our borders. Based on Agency risk criteria, an automated system alerts FDA to any concerns. Then inspectors investigate further and, if warranted, do a physical examination of the product.
FDA also works cooperatively with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other agencies to help identify shipments that may pose a threat.