Building an Integrated Food Safety System (IFSS) has long been a foundational element of our nation’s strategy for carrying out an effective and efficient food safety program. It is also one of the key themes of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law by President Obama in January 2011.
An IFSS is a unified food safety system leveraging participation, expertise, resources, and authorities of partner agencies with food safety responsibilities. Foundational elements of an IFSS include, but are not limited to, uniform program standards, training and certification programs, laboratory analysis, data sharing, joint work planning, inspection and enforcement protocols, and responding quickly to emergencies.
Since 1998, the FDA has supported a series of 50 – State Workshops open to officials from all 50 States, including five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. To implement the recommendations from the 2008 50 – State Workshop, the PFP was established. Since its establishment, the PFP has utilized a workgroup structure to help implement the foundational elements to achieve an IFSS.