USA – MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING – a collaborative efforts to reduce the occurrence of foodborne illness 

FDA

I. PURPOSE

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) constitutes an agreement between two Agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), specifically the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – hereinafter referred to individually as “Partner” and collectively as the “Partners.”

The purpose of this MOU is to outline an agreement through which both Partners intend to advance collaborative efforts to reduce the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors in retail and foodservice establishments. Both Partners intend to promote the joint efforts established under this MOU, subject to the availability of funding and other necessary resources, which will be based on communication as the foundation of the two Partners working together to advance safe food practices in the United States.

II. BACKGROUND

Under the FD&C Act, the FDA, is directed to promote and protect the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of drugs, veterinary products, medical devices and radiological products as well as the safety and security of foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. The FDA also has responsibility for regulating the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health and to reduce tobacco use by minors. The mission of FDA is to enforce laws enacted by the U.S. Congress and regulations established by the Agency to protect the consumer’s health and safety. To accomplish its mission, the FDA must stay abreast of the latest developments in research and communicate with stakeholders about complex scientific and public health issues. Increased development of research, education, and outreach partnerships within the CDC NCEH will greatly contribute to FDA’s mission.

The FDA serves as a lead federal agency for retail food protection. Ensuring the safety of food at the retail level requires the collaboration of the FDA, other federal Agencies including, but not limited to, CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) regulatory agencies, industry, academia, and consumers.

STLT governments exercise primary regulatory control over the retail segment of the food industry and provide the largest portion of the program’s resources. The FDA’s ability to leverage the resources of STLTs, while providing expertise, guidance, and technical assistance, represents an effective public health partnership and a model for a national integrated food safety system (IFSS).

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