In 1998, FDA hosted the first 50-State Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, that included State, Local, and Federal officials with a mission to identify ways to coordinate efforts of foodborne outbreak investigations and responses. This group recognized the need for an integrated food safety system (IFSS) designed to collaborate efforts through all levels of government and protect consumers in a globalized food system.
It was not until 2007, when the nation faced several major foodborne illness crises, that this initiative received greater attention. These large-scale outbreaks also brought greater public awareness to the complexity and diversity of our food supply. That same year, Congress incorporated specific food safety items into the FDA Amendments Act (FDAAA), and FDA developed the Food Protection Plan (FPP) which focused on prevention, intervention, and response.
At the second 50-State Meeting, held in 2008, public health partners were asked to make recommendations on implementing the FPP. The outcome of that critical meeting led to the establishment of the Partnership for Food Protection (PFP), a group of dedicated officials from all levels of government charged to build the foundation of an IFSS. At the time, the PFP was comprised of an Executive Committee, a Coordinating Committee, and Workgroups.
By September 2009, President Obama had established the Food Safety Working Group (FSWG) to serve as a central coordinating mechanism for the federal government’s food safety activities. Based on FSWG findings, FDA, along with PFP support, drafted a vision for a national IFSS that included strengthening inspection, laboratory, and response capacity.
In 2010, PFP 50-State Workshop participants continued moving forward building on the progress of the existing PFP Workgroups by providing advice and recommendations on various elements of the IFSS vision to include integrated response efforts, joint investigations, and outcome metrics.
In 2011, President Obama enacted the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) which holds FDA accountable to use the IFSS vision and create operational processes to bring the vision to reality.