Continuing a tone set earlier this month by its deputy commissioner, the Food and Drug Administration is seeking industry input about preventive controls and best practices in relation to food safety as it prepares to draft guidance documents.

The May 23 comment request in the Federal Register stated comments would be accepted through Aug. 22. Comments can be submitted online at http://tinyurl.com/FDA-GAP-comments, or via traditional mail to: Division of Dockets Management (HFA–305), FDA, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, Md. 20852.

The comment request comes just three weeks after FDA deputy commissioner Michael Taylor told members of the Produce Traceability Initiative Leadership Council that the agency would take its lead on traceability from the produce industry.

Teri Miller, produce category manager for Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion LLC and a member of the PTI’s Implementation Working Group, said she takes the FDA at its word because of its response to industry comments filed about the Bioterrorism Act and country of origin labeling.

“I’ve seen the FDA truly consider and address those comments that were reasonable and legitimate.  If the industry, doesn’t submit comments, then we all risk regulations that are burdensome and may not provide the benefit intended,” Miller said May 24.

The Food Safety Modernization Act required the FDA to issue guidance regarding hazard analysis and preventive controls. In its request for comments the agency stated it plans to “leverage, where appropriate, the best practices for hazards and controls identified by the food and feed industries for specific types of food and specific methods to manufacture, process, pack, and hold food.”