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Amit M. Kheradia
Amit M. Kheradia
Environmental Health and Sanitation Manager

New Era of Smarter Food Safety Summit Focuses on the Crucial ‘Last Mile’: Foods Ordered Online and Delivered Directly to Consumers

Remco is proud to have participated in the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety Virtual Summit on E-Commerce that took place from October 19-21, and which was well attended by regulators, industry representatives, and consumer groups from about 49 countries. Participants gave the agency information, asked questions, and submitted public comments to help them understand the challenges and solutions regarding food safety through a B2C ecommerce model. To this end, they also helped deliberate on the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint Core Element # 3 on ‘Business Models and Retail Modernization.’ 

According to Partnership for Food Safety Education, during the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an over 300% increase in online ordering and grocery delivery/pickup, as well as substantial growth in meal kit sales, and this trend is expected to persist once the pandemic and economy stabilize. Key food safety threats in such B2C e-commerce food delivery systems can include: 

  • Temperature-time abuse of perishable and frozen foods 
  • Package tampering potential and labeling issues 
  • Sanitation and employee hygiene during preparation 
  • Cross-contamination of food during delivery, etc. 

The discussions revolved around whether an improved regulatory oversight framework was required in the technologically innovative and consumer-centric e-commerce market. Industry and consumer viewpoints were also considered. Additionally, international regulators from Japan, Brazil, England, Wales, and Germany also presented their perspectives on their B2C e-commerce food markets. Dr. Andreas Keller, Director of Multi-Commodity Foods at FDA CFSAN, aptly put it in part of his closing remarks: “The challenges we face [for B2C delivered foods] in the U.S. are similar to those faced in other countries, highlighting the need to collaborate and exchange information on how best to ensure the safety of these foods globally.” 

The FDA has requested formal comments on B2C e-commerce delivered foods from the public, with the details are available here. Remco has supported the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety Initiative ever since its inception and blueprint development by participating in forums, contributing to discussions, and providing comments that help in bending the curve of foodborne illness in the U.S. and globally. We share this vision of promoting smarter food safety by providing the end-users with high-quality color-coded material handling tools like scoops, tubs, scrapers, mixing paddles, and much more. As a Vikan company, we also distribute innovative, hygienically designed cleaning tools and solutions (e.g. brushes, brooms, squeegees, etc.) to food producers and manufacturers based in North America. For more information about our products and services, contact us.