While noting that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already made “great strides” in modernizing and further safeguarding the U.S. food supply chain with implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), agency officials say it’s time to look at the future while leveraging the “use of new and emerging technologies to create a more digital, traceable and safer system.” That’s according to a joint statement issued April 30 by Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs Norman E. "Ned" Sharpless MD and Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas. The duo announced a “New Era of Smarter Food Safety” with plans to develop a “Blueprint for a New Era of Smarter Food Safety.” The Blueprint will address several areas, including traceability, digital technologies and evolving food business models. We’ll also be holding a public meeting later this year to discuss smarter food safety, seek stakeholder input and share ideas on our overall strategy and the specific initiatives. The FDA also plans to conduct a new pilot that will leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to explore new ways to enhance the agency’s review of imported foods at ports of entry to ensure they meet U.S. food safety standards.They noted that “the number of import food lines is increasing year after year and applying the best predictive and analytical tools will help ensure we’re targeting the greatest risks to protect consumers.”

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