Takeaways, key links from FDA COVID-19 food stakeholder briefing

MARCH 18, 2020

CRN reports from FDA COVID-19 Food Stakeholders Briefing

Following today's Briefing for Food Stakeholders on COVID-19, hosted by FDA, CRN's Steve Mister is sharing the following takeaways with members:

  1. There is no evidence that the virus is passed through food or food packaging, which is also relevant to supplement packaging and should be a relief for consumers. Consumers will not contract the virus from supplements or their packages. 

  2. FDA is effectively stopping all non-critical inspections. The agency has already stopped foreign inspections as of a couple of weeks ago. It is very important that all companies, at all stages of the supply chain, recognize that FDA is not in the facilities, so they need to validate what they receive. If companies were previously relying on the fact that FDA is minding the store, they shouldn’t. 

  3. FDA is suspending supplier verification onsite audits.

  4. There are no shortages, just over demand in the first weeks of the situation. There is no need to stockpile food or supplements.

  5. FDA appears to acknowledge the “essential” nature of food and healthcare products, so would expect these companies to continue to operate despite local and state "shelter-in-place" orders.

  6. FDA has provided a number of resources to help companies navigate this critical situation:

  • FDA has posted FAQs for food safety and COVID-19. These can be found at fda.gov/food – the FAQs and this webpage will be updated regularly. FDA also is posting information for all industries to the Resources for You page.
  • Companies experiencing logistical/supply chain issues should contact FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center at nbeoc@fema.dhs.gov.
  • Food safety technical questions should be directed to the Food & Cosmetic Info Center.
  • For more information about the briefing, visit FDA's website. Access an audio recording of the briefing here. Contact Rashidah Denton with any questions.