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Highlights from the Food Safety & Quality Operations Survey

Posted on January 1, 2020 by Brian Sharp

September's FSMA Fridays session with The Acheson Group was an extended one. We took a first look at the results of the recent Food Safety & Quality Operations Survey sponsored by SafetyChain and TAG. 

What's Going On at the FDA? Report from the Office of the Inspector General and Delay on the Nutrition Facts and Supplemental Facts Labeling Final Rule

Before exploring the results of the survey, Dr. David Acheson of TAG did a quick round-up of recent goings on at FDA. He kicked off the discussion by mentioning that FDA has delayed compliance dates on Nutrition Facts and Supplemental Facts label final rule. Manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual sales have until January 1, 2020 to comply. Previously, the compliance date was July 26, 2018. For companies with less than $10 million in annual sales, the compliance dates is moved out to January 1, 2021.

What Dr. Acheson found particularly interesting was a report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) entitled Challenges Remain in FDA's Inspections of Domestic Food Facilities. The report summarizes the current status of FDA's inspection schedule for food facilities. Hence, about 21,000 high risk and 61,000 non-high risk facilities are on track to complete. However, the OIG indicates in the report that while the FDA is getting into these facilities, what they are not doing is a good job at following up when there is an issue. 

Some Interesting Survey Statistics

Here's a quick look into some of the response data from the 2017 Food Safety & Quality Operations Survey:

GFSI Program Management

52% of our respondents found it challenging or somewhat challenging to demonstrate continuous improvement in their GFSI programs. Respondents also found it challenging to keep track of records that apply to code elements, verify tasks are complete and accurate, and manage audits.

Supplier Compliance

Only 32% of respondents feel that they have immediate visibility to supplier non-conformances at their company. This is not surprising given the larger amount of records, documents, and processes that have to be maintained to ensure supplier compliance. Companies that manage supplier compliance using traditional, paper-based methods don't have access to tools that provide a centralized view of all supplier compliance program activities. These tools make it easy to monitor progress and ensure completion of tasks. 

Audit Preparedness

Only 45% of survey respondents feel that their records are always audit-ready. These companies should consider leveraging technology to manage audits. Technology solutions like SafetyChain provide efficiencies in accessing records and proving plans are being executed upon.

Check out the recording from the September FSMA Fridays session for a more in-depth discussion on the survey results.

Join Our October FSMA Fridays Session

Save the date for our next session at 9:00 a.m. Friday, October 27, when we will review current goings on at FDA and discuss another top of mind FSMA topic. Register for our monthly series at https://info.safetychain.com/fsma-fridays.

Need Help Ensuring FSMA Compliance?

The TAG team can help you identify gaps and update your food safety and recall plans. For more information, visit www.achesongroup.com.

Interested in learning how SafetyChain’s solutions are helping our customers reduce risk, control costs and ensure regulatory, non-regulatory and customer compliance? Learn more at https://www.safetychain.com/solutions/

Check out the FSMA Fridays LinkedIn Group

Our LinkedIn group has grown steadily over the months to include over 180 members! Group participation offers opportunities for peer discussion, access to additional FSMA Fridays session content, and engagement in valuable dialogues around the management of FSMA compliance. Join today!

Topics: Safety, Quality