WASHINGTON — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 6 published a new resource page on its website aimed to support human and animal food manufacturers affected by flooding. The agency previously issued individual announcements to help growers and producers prepare for and mitigate the impacts of severe weather such as hurricanes and tropical storms. The FDA’s webpage — Resources for Human and Animal Food Producers Affected by Flooding — will replace these individual announcements.
The page includes state and federal resources, including ORA emergency response coordinators and compliance policy guidelines, as well as risk factors, Q&As and other guidance.
According to the FDA, floodwater may contain contaminants such as sewage, pathogens, pesticides and other toxic materials. It also fosters mold growth, which can result in the development of mycotoxins on crops. These factors pose threats to human and animal health and safety, so flooding often deems these crops unacceptable for consumption.
On a case-by-case basis, the FDA can work with companies to salvage adulterated crops formerly bound for human food products to be used in animal food instead, but companies must request reconditioning through the FDA and state-level agriculture departments.
“We encourage growers to work with state regulators and local FDA offices to assess their unique situations and to take into consideration all possible types and routes of contamination from flood waters in determining whether a particular crop is adulterated,” the agency stated.