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FOOD AND DRUG BRANCH

Mission Statement 

The Food and Drug Branch is committed to serve and protect the health and welfare of Hawaii’s people through fair enforcement of regulations of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and dietary supplements.  With professional dedication, we accomplish this through inspections, consultation, education, training and the fostering of collaborative relationships with the industry and the public.

Food Safety

The safety of food comprises the Branch’s primary mission.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC), estimates 76 million cases of food borne disease occur each year in the United States.  Nationwide figures show that food borne illness kills approximately 5,000 people annually and is responsible for over 300,000 hospitalizations.The increasing complexity of large-scale, technology-driven food manufacturing, coupled with the hazards of storage, distribution and display of foods, pose a number of potential risks to consumers.

Objectives:

  • Prevent public exposure to adulterated and misbranded food by identifying and correcting food-related problems and potential problems before consumers are placed at risk.
  • Protect the food supply against acts of terrorism.

Strategies:

  • Routinely inspect food manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
  • Sample and monitor food for compliance with safety and quality standards such as pesticide tolerances, microbial standards, leach-able lead in ceramic-ware and others.
  • Take effective enforcement action when required.
  • Respond to all food complaints.
  • Ensure food establishments remove recalled products from sale.
  • Provide consultative and education services to the food industry, community groups and other regulatory agencies.
  • Respond immediately to suspected acts of terrorism and natural disasters.

Drug Safety

The drug safety program seeks to ensure that prescription drugs are safe and effective, properly labeled and are dispensed according to valid prescriptions from authorized practitioners. The program also ensures that generic drugs are safe and therapeutically equivalent to their brand name counterparts, and that drugs are dispensed with child-resistant caps.

Objectives:

  • Prevent public exposure to unsafe, ineffective or misbranded prescription drugs by identifying and resolving problems or potential problems before consumers are placed at risk.
  • Protect the drug supply against acts of terrorism.

Strategies:

  • Routinely inspect drug wholesalers, pharmacies, dispensing practitioners and other prescription drug retailers.
  • Respond to all drug complaints.
  • Develop partnerships with industry.
  • Ensure that prescription drugs are dispensed in child-resistant containers unless otherwise requested by the consumer.
  • Respond immediately to suspected acts of terrorism and natural disasters.

Cosmetics and Medical Devices Safety

The Cosmetics and Medical Device programs endeavor to ensure that these products are safe, effective and accurately labeled.

Objectives:

  • Reduce risk of injury to consumers by identifying and removing potential cosmetic and medical device related hazards.
  • Protect cosmetic and medical device products against acts of terrorism.

Strategies:

  • Respond to all cosmetic and medical device complaints.
  • Assist FDA in the conduct of recalls, warnings and advisories.
  • Respond immediately to suspected acts of terrorism and natural disasters.