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FDA Releases Long-Awaited Listeria Draft Guidance

Jan 18, 2017

After a nearly nine-year wait, the Food and Drug Administration last Friday released a revised draft of “Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-To-Eat Foods: Guidance for Industry.” The guidance replaces the previous draft released in 2008 and reflects FDA’s current thinking, now with greater encouragement for companies to use robust environmental testing procedures to continue to ensure safe food products. The new guidance moves to align FDA’s thinking with that adopted in 2003 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, which has demonstrated positive results in reducing the incidence of Listeria monocytogenes in the ready-to-eat meat and poultry product industry.

“These recommendations support IDFA’s stance that such a change in policy would allow the industry to be more aggressive in seeking out and destroying Listeria in the food production environment before it is able to find its way into food products,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards.

In addition to consistency with the USDA’s adopted policies, the new draft guidance now aligns more closely with an emphasis on prevention, which is the central focus behind the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Read the draft guidance here.

IDFA is planning to submit comments to the agency on the draft guidance and is currently soliciting comments from members. Members may submit to Allan at, by Feb. 15, 2017.

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