GAO Pushes FDA on Food Safety

Although the U.S. food supply is one of the safest, foodborne illness is a public health concern. The Food and Drug Administration has a new rule requiring detailed records for certain foods as they move through the supply chain, which can help trace the source of a potential outbreak. FDA has taken steps like issuing guidance to help implement the rule.

The Government Accountability Office has recommended that the FDA finalize its plans for implementing the rule to help industry and regulators prepare for compliance by January 30, 2026. In November 2022, the FDA promulgated a final rule on food traceability to help identify the source of outbreaks of foodborne illness. When developing the new rule, FDA established a list of certain foods for which enhanced recordkeeping is required.

Entities handling an item on the list must maintain records, including a traceability plan for specific points in the supply chain.