The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking action to help prevent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses through the development of food safety prevention strategies for bulb onions and imported mushrooms.

The agency is working with industry, state, international and other partners on the development of several food safety prevention strategies.

So far, the FDA has released the following first two strategies:

Additional prevention strategies for other foods will be released as they become available.

When a foodborne illness outbreak occurs, the FDA, through its Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) Network and federal, state, local, territorial, tribal and international public health partners work together to determine what food may have caused the outbreak and how it became contaminated. After the outbreak investigation ends, the information learned can be used to contribute to a food safety prevention strategy for that food.

According to the FDA, these prevention strategies are an affirmative, deliberate approach undertaken to help limit or prevent future outbreaks, similar to the approach taken as part of the Leafy Green STEC Action Plan, which has outlined multi-faceted steps to reduce Shiga toxin-producing E. coli outbreaks associated with the consumption of leafy greens.

 The strategies examine commodity-hazard pairings, potential sources and routes of contamination, and what can be done to reduce incidences of foodborne illness in the future. The strategies also identify knowledge gaps and needed areas of focus to inform and promote research and engagement with stakeholders on steps that can be taken to prevent future outbreaks.

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