The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released an activities document outlining how the agency is working to enhance the safety of fresh produce imported into the United States.

The Activities to Enhance the Safety of Imported Produce, announced September 27, builds on the FDA’s Strategy for the Safety of Imported Food, which began in February 2019. The 2019 import strategy outlined the agency’s comprehensive approach to ensuring the safety of food imported into the United States. The new activities document details how the strategy for safeguarding imported food applies specifically to produce.

“The success of FDA’s imported food safety efforts relies in large part on the safety of produce since fresh fruit and vegetables represent a significant volume of imported food,” the agency said in the activities document. “About 15% of the U.S. food supply is imported, including nearly 55% of fresh fruit and 32% of fresh vegetables.”

The activities document is structured on the 2019 import strategy’s four goals, which include:

  • Goal 1: Food Offered for Import Meets U.S. Food Safety Requirements
  • Goal 2: FDA Border Surveillance Prevents Entry of Unsafe Foods
  • Goal 3: Rapid and Effective Responses to Unsafe Imported Food
  • Goal 4: Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of our Food Import Program

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.