• by esalazar@marketresearch.com
  • October 11 2013

Foodborne Pathogens Don’t Pause during Government Shutdown

Foodborne Pathogens Don’t Pause during Government Shutdown

The current government shutdown has unexpectedly brought food safety to the fore once again in the United States. This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued an alert for Salmonella in Foster Farms chicken. Per the FSIS’s contingency plans, several activities remain exempt and continue through the shutdown, including the inspection of poultry and poultry products.

The critical nature of food safety - both of domestic and imported foods - is underscored by the FSIS’s uninterrupted testing and inspection activities through the shutdown. The logistical completion of recalls and communication of food safety events, however, remain impaired during the current federal episode.

Previous U.S. Salmonella outbreaks - in peanuts, pistachios and associated food products - precipitated the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Kalorama Information estimates that over 700 products in all were recalled in 2009; subsequent annual recalls were much lower for domestic products, but nonetheless rose each year following 2010.

The FSMA has been hailed as a much-needed overhaul redirecting regulatory requirements towards science-based benchmarks verifiable through technology now available to industry. The greatest industry change to be realized through the FSMA will be the standardization and wider implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems. Such systems, when applied in the food industry, incorporate various diagnostic testing procedures to validate operational safeguards and verify resultant food safety.

Challenges to the FSMA on the part of small food producers and some state food safety agencies have delayed implementation. Inactivity or delay on the policy front by the current administration has also stalled enforcement of FSMA provisions. Nonetheless, the FSMA and similarly-minded legislation abroad are expected to increase demand for food safety diagnostics in coming years. Regulation and other drivers continue to attract the interest of many IVD companies to this applied diagnostics market.

More information regarding U.S. and global food safety diagnostics market trends can be found in Kalorama’s report Food Safety Diagnostics, The World Market.