United States national and regional administrations need to better link their federal and state food safety rules, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences.

In its report called Scientific Criteria to Ensure Safe Food, the official Washington think tank recommends that a national plan be drawn up that would integrate the information on pathogens that the US department of agriculture and the national Food and Drug Administration gather through food sampling with public health agencies’ surveillance data on foodborne disease.

It also suggests the development of more administrative flexibility, as it currently takes months or years to update food safety regulations, thus preventing agencies from keeping pace with advances in food safety technologies.