FDA, USDA Announced Partnership to Improve Food Safety

The two agencies made a formal agreement aimed at making the oversight of food more efficient and effective.

Food Safety

FDA, USDA announced a collaboration to improve food safety. The formal agreement outlines efforts to increase effectiveness and efficiency in produce safety and bio-technology.

“Today, Commissioner Gottlieb and I signed a formal agreement to promote coordination and the streamlining of capacities and obligations on shared concerns and jurisdiction,” said Secretary Perdue. “Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act and assigned responsibilities to the USDA and the FDA. The USDA has the knowledge and expertise to support the FDA’s work related to farming.”

Over the years, the agencies have worked closely together to oversee the nation’s food supply. The USDA oversees meat, eggs, poultry and catfish. The FDA oversees all other food like dairy, seafood, produce and packaged goods.

The agreement is the agencies’ newest initiative to take new steps to streamline regulatory responses and use government resources to protect public health.

The agreement also calls for the FDA and the USDA to enhance their collaboration and cooperation on produce safety activities. The FDA is implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which shifts the food safety paradigm from one of reaction to prevention of foodborne illness. Under FSMA, the FDA coordinates with state and/or territorial government agencies, which will conduct most farm inspections under FSMA’s Produce Safety rule.