By Jeff Chilton
FDA is planning to conduct over 500 Preventive Control for Human Food Inspections in 2019, many of which will be full scope inspections that include the Swab-A-Thon, where FDA takes as many as 100-150 environmental swabs during the inspection. Sampling results are maintained in a database with a specific DNA link so when future foodborne illness outbreaks occur, FDA can compare strains to link back to source plants through a specific database called Genome Trakr. Positive findings will result in enforcement actions by FDA. Prudent companies certainly don’t want to roll the dice and wait for FDA to come in and hope they don’t find anything. More importantly, companies need to have robust environmental monitoring programs to assure the safety of their food products and meet regulatory and audit standards requirements .