Rockville, MD—The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition released some data at the beginning of August about its new Reportable Food Registry system. Manufacturers are required to use this system to report problems in human and animal food (and feed) that may pose a public health risk. The data are intended to help the U.S. Food and Drug Administration locate and prevent food hazards from proceeding through the supply chain.

During its first seven months of use (September 2009 through March 2010), the system registered 125 primary reports and 1,638 subsequent reports, most notably the February 2010 recall of products containing hydrolyzed vegetable protein and the November 2009 recall of improperly labeled items containing sulfites.

The following is a breakdown of the main causes of primary reports: Salmonella contamination (37%), undeclared allergens/intolerances (35%) and Listeria monocytogenes contamination (13%).

In the near future, FDA is hoping to better collaborate with other federal and state agencies and local public health officials to alert them of food reports and associated recalls affecting their jurisdiction. Says the agency, “A system is under development that will electronically notify the appropriate state agencies when a reportable food report is filed in their jurisdiction, even further improving the response time for the federal-state collaborations.”

The full report is viewable at

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, October 2010 (published ahead of print on August 28, 2010)