WASHINGTON, September 7, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) launched a new feature on its website that enables software developers to access data on recalls and public health alerts through an application programming interface (API). This is FSIS’ first public API and will transform the way the public can benefit from this critical and timely public health information.
FSIS issues recall communications to alert consumers of potential food safety issues related to FSIS-regulated products. The API will act as a bridge, allowing software developers to leverage FSIS recall data to create new value-driven products for consumers or incorporate them into existing digital services and mobile apps. The agency’s recall and public health alert information continues to be publicly available through the FSIS website, Twitter, FoodSafety.gov, an RSS feed, and annual recall data summaries.
“Transparency, innovation, and collaboration are essential to public health,” said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Emilio Esteban. “By opening critical data through public APIs, third-party software developers will be able to expand the reach of our information among American consumers far beyond what FSIS could do on its own.”
FSIS data play an important role in supporting food safety research, surveillance, and regulatory efforts to protect public health. The agency prioritizes transparency and data sharing, with several sets of data publicly available on its website that it regularly collects, analyzes, and uses in its decision-making process.
Since January 2020, FSIS has successfully migrated several mission-critical applications from on-premises legacy software to cloud systems, including the FSIS public website in 2021. The cloud-based infrastructure for the website laid the foundation to build out a rich and robust API. These advances align FSIS more closely with the U.S. open government initiative that aims to ensure open access to federal data, research, and information to empower citizen participation in the work of federal government.
The recall API is an example of how USDA leverages human-centered design, data, technology, and digital services to provide customers with easy-to-navigate online tools for critical programs and services. In addition to recall data, FSIS is working on APIs for other critical datasets. When available, FSIS will announce them in its weekly Constituent Update newsletter.
More information about FSIS’ recall API and developer resources are available on the agency’s API webpage. Sign up on the FSIS website to receive FSIS’ weekly constituent newsletter or notifications of other agency updates.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.