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CFSAN ANNOUNCES 2007 PRIORITIES

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) recently published its Fiscal Year 2007 Report to Stakeholders.  The report contains CFSAN’s list of Priority Programs for Fiscal Year 2007.

In fiscal year 2007 (October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007), CFSAN says it will undertake a number of food safety projects, including a meeting of the Food Safety/Food Defense Task Force to discuss food defense strategies and to ensure food defense preparedness.  In the area of food defense, CFSAN plans to complete and publish a final rule governing prior notice of imported food shipments.

In terms of food safety, CFSAN plans to implement a pilot program in conjunction with FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) to identify and inspect up to ten food importers bringing in large quantities of high risk foods into the United States.

With respect to dairy products, CFSAN announced it will complete the revised draft compliance policy guide “Pathogens in Dairy Products.”  In addition, CFSAN says it will work with ORA to finalize and implement the raw milk cheese action plan for high risk cheese products.  Finally, CFSAN says it will complete a proposed rule to amend the standards of identity for yogurt.

Also in fiscal year 2007, CFSAN states it will undertake several projects relating to Listeria, including the completion of a draft compliance guide on Listeria in ready-to-eat foods.  In addition, CFSAN says it will complete a draft guide on the control of Listeria in ready-to-eat foods and will respond to a citizen petition to establish a regulatory limit of 100 colony forming units per gram for Listeria in foods that do not support the growth of the organism.

In the international area, CFSAN announced that it will continue to evaluate the equivalence of the European Union dairy safety system.  The agency also plans to participate in the development of Codex standards.  CFSAN will represent the United States at Codex committee sessions and working groups and will develop comments and positions on Codex standards, as well as develop Codex working drafts when appropriate.  Subjects on the Codex agenda for fiscal year 2007 include food additives, food import and export inspection systems and food hygiene.