FDA issues 5th annual Reportable Food Registry report.

  • Since 2009, FDA has operated the Reportable Food Registry (RFR), an electronic portal to which instances of “reportable food” must be submitted.  A “reportable food” is a food (other than dietary supplements and infant formula) that has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. The definition of “reportable food” is essentially identical to the criteria established for a Class I recall.
  • FDA recently released its 5th annual RFR report, which summarizes data from the Registry’s first five years of operation.  FDA received 909 reportable food entries in year 5 with 201 of these being primary reports (initial reports about a food-related safety concern), 464 being subsequent reports from suppliers or recipients of a product for which a primary report had been submitted, and 244 being amended reports (to correct or add information to previously submitted reports).  Undeclared allergens triggered almost half (47%) of the RFR reports submitted in year 5, with most of these reports associated with bakery products.
  • FDA noted that although the total number of RFR submissions in year 5 represented a decrease as compared to the previous two years, amended report submissions are on the rise, which may indicate industry cooperation and familiarity with the reporting process.  Under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FDA has been tasked with modifying the RFR system to make it more “consumer-oriented.”  Although there has not been much activity since FDA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in 2014, the industry should stay tuned for potential developments on this front.