The White House has asked the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies to begin providing weekly assessments of the impact that H1N1 influenza is having on the country's infrastructure and resources. IDFA encourages members to help the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with their efforts to gather flu-related data from the food and agriculture industries for these reports.
"Although the private sector has no obligation to submit reports, we believe it will be in everyone's best interest to cooperate with FDA and USDA, and in turn the White House, to provide an accurate picture of the influenza situation within the food and ag sector," said Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and co-chair of the Food and Agriculture Sector Coordinating Council. "It's possible that we won't have any adverse or unusual news to report, but if we do, the information will be used collectively to establish a common operating picture for the nation."
The government is looking for information regarding high levels of absenteeism, any negative impact on company operations and immediate or short-term concerns that are caused by the H1N1 flu. Members with information to share may submit it directly to Emily Miller, a DHS consultant, at Emily.Miller@associates.dhs.gov no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern time each Wednesday.
Members with questions may contact Detlefsen at email@example.com or 202-220-3554.
• Process and Procedures for Influenza Reporting