December 9, 2021

FDA Releases Plan for Improving Foodborne Outbreak Response

Today, December 9, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Foodborne Outbreak Response Improvement Plan, striving to enhance the speed, effectiveness, coordination and communication of outbreak investigations surrounding foodborne illness. FDA states that this will improve their ability to identify the sources and causes of foodborne illness outbreaks.

This Foodborne Outbreak Response Improvement Plan works jointly with the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint, which focuses on tech-enabled traceability, root cause analysis, outbreak data and operational improvements.

The improvement plan is divided into four priority areas:

  • Tech-enabled product traceback, focusing on ways to routinely digitize the process of tracing foods to their source.
  • Root cause investigations, working to systemize, expedite and share the results of FDA investigations into the cause of a food contamination.
  • Analysis and dissemination of outbreak data to increase the transparency of outbreak investigations.
  • Operational improvements to streamline processes and create performance measures.

This was informed by an independent review of the FDA’s structural and functional capacity to support, participate in, or lead multistate foodborne illness outbreak investigation activities.


If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to the Western Growers Science team at [email protected].