Wisconsin, along with California, Florida, and Utah, entered into mutual reliance agreements with FDA last week. These agreements are designed to foster federal and state cooperation and information sharing to prevent and minimize future foodborne illness outbreaks. Mutual reliance agreements were envisioned in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the Partnership for Food Protection, and the New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint. It is anticipated that other states will enter similar agreements with FDA as food safety regulatory bodies continue their efforts to move the nation toward an Integrated Food Safety System. If the ultimate goal of integration is achieved, it is hoped that redundancies will be eliminated, data will be shared, and risks will be appropriately prioritized and eventually eliminated. Everyone in the food safety space should continue to monitor the progress being made on this front.
Mutual reliance agreements mark a coordinated effort between the FDA and individual states with goals to reduce human foodborne illness outbreaks, reduce duplication of regulatory oversight, and increase public health protection by focusing on areas of higher risk.FDA