UEP meets with key FDA official

March 21, 2024

UEP staff held an introductory meeting with Jim Jones, the new Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the Food and Drug Administration. Jones is engaged in a major reorganization of FDA’s human foods programs, which came under criticism in an outside study by the Reagan-Udall Foundation. In contrast to recent practice, Jones reports directly to FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, reflecting his authority within the agency.

UEP expressed support for the FDA’s Egg Safety Rule, which has successfully reduced Salmonella Enteritidis in the egg sector. UEP also noted the need for more clarity and guidance on the agency’s food traceability rule, which affects eggs and other FDA-regulated foods. Jones noted the agency plans a series of meetings later this spring that will inform its implementation of the rule.

UEP encouraged the agency to consider the opportunity for industry and regulators to participate together in a joint training course on the FDA Egg Safety Rule. This training would allow the industry to better understand how investigators are interpreting various aspects of the rule while conducting inspections.  This is not a new concept, as it has been very successful in obtaining additional compliance in the FDA seafood HACCP rule.

UEP also shared support for the agency’s proposed rule that would allow eggs to be labeled “healthy,” and provided perspective on industry issues such as the cage-free transition.