In January 2022, FDA published a new, interactive public data dashboard that allows anyone to view data from the agency’s Reportable Food Registry (RFR). This registry, a part of FDA-TRACK, the agency’s performance management program, is an electronic portal for the food industry to report when there is concern that an article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences. The RFR applies to all FDA-regulated categories of food and feed, except for dietary supplements and infant formula, which fall under a different reporting system.
Development of the RFR began in 2007, with data available starting in 2009.
The new dashboard, which will be updated annually, makes it faster and easier to obtain better data from the RFR when compared with the previous static system. The RFR program helps FDA’s state and local partners better determine when to issue health alerts or take steps to remove harmful food from the market. The RFR also helps target any enforcement efforts such as sampling assignments to make the best use of limited resources.
The dashboard allows users to sort data across a variety of categories for the period 2009 through 2019. To search for a specific commodity or hazard, a user can just hover over the appropriate heading and sort the data needed. The data can also be downloaded for later reference.
The new dashboard will be a useful tool for the food industry and will provide users a more accurate understanding of hazard trends across all foods under FDA jurisdiction, informing producers of potential changes affecting their supply chains and allowing them to document in their food safety plans the research used to identify the presence or absence of hazards previously reported in similar products.
What Are “Reportable” Foods?
A responsible party is required to file a report through the RFR electronic portal when there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, an article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals, otherwise known as SAHCODA hazards. The report must be filed no later than 24 hours after a determination is made that a food is a reportable food. After initial review, an individual case safety report (ICSR) number is assigned to identify the report and allow FDA to properly link associated reportable food reports in the registry. Federal, state, and local public health officials may also voluntarily report information that may come to them about reportable foods.
According to FDA’s website, a reportable food report is not required if all of the following three conditions are met:
- The adulteration originated with the responsible party;
- The adulteration was detected prior to any transfer to another person of the article of food; and
- The responsible party corrected the adulteration or destroyed the article of food.
The “responsible party” is defined as the person who submits the registration information to FDA for a food facility that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food for human or animal consumption in the U.S.