Salmonella Leading Hazard in FDA Reportable Food Registry

The US Food and Drug Administration last week released the second annual report of the reportable food registry.  The reportable food registry is an electronic portal to which reports about instances of reportable food must be submitted to FDA within 24 hours by responsible parties and to which reports may be submitted by public health officials.

The second Reportable Food Registry Annual Report covers the period September 8, 2010 to September 7, 2011.  During this time a total of 882 entries were made to the registry, a significant drop from the 2,240 entries in the previous year.  However, FDA noted that much of this difference was due to three primary reportable entries in year 1 that resulted in 1,284 subsequent reports. These were:

  • Undeclared sulfites in widely distributed prepared side dishes, which resulted in 108 subsequent reports;
  • Listeria monocytogenes in widely distributed cheese spreads, which resulted in 106 subsequent reports; and,
  • Salmonella in a very widely used ingredient, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), which resulted in 1070 subsequent reports.

Salmonella contamination prompted 38.2 percent of this year’s entries, while undeclared allergens accounted for 33.3 percent and Listeria accounted for 17.8 percent.  That compares similarly with the first year, when Salmonella accounted for 37.6 percent, undeclared allergens 30.1 percent and Listeria 14.4 percent of entries.

The image below summarizes the full results for years 1 (top) and 2 (bottom) of the Reportable Food Registry.

Distribution of Primary RFR Entries by Food Safety Hazard, Year 1 (top) - Year 2 (bottom)

The Second Reportable Food Registry Annual Report is available at the following URL: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodSafetyPrograms/RFR/ucm200958.htm

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About Les Bourquin

Professor and Food Safety Specialist Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition Michigan State University
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