There are three essential aspects for driving food safety training for a diverse workforce: accessibility, inclusivity, and dynamic responsiveness. The key to food safety education is to meet people where they are and commit to food safety training and education. Document everything: if it doesn’t get documented, then it didn’t happen. For good food safety education to work, there has to be a commitment from the top down, but also a bottom-up education and knowledge transfer. The employees on the floor should be an integral part of the food safety training curriculum. This approach is similar to cultivating a food safety culture.
Traceability is a tool, and as such, it is not an answer or the solution; it’s a means of getting there. Companies often state that they wish to have greater traceability. It is crucial that companies identify what they hope to achieve with traceability because understanding the goal can guide them in how best to use traceability. As a tool, traceability can be an effective marketing technique or a way to authenticate a product. Companies can also use traceability to increase supply chain efficiency or facilitate simpler and easier recalls. Many companies are examining traceability as a way to improve in all of these areas. The technology exists to support all of these goals, but it is helpful for companies to clarify the goals first before attempting to implement traceability.
Regulations in recent years have sought to assist allergen-aware consumers by requiring changes in labeling to reflect individual ingredients and sourcing, but challenges remain in creating labeling clarity and providing relatable education that can facilitate a better understanding for consumers of what labels mean.
The commitment to understanding and protecting the food allergen consumer continues to be a priority for food manufacturers. The impact from a safety and purchasing standpoint is significant. 32 million Americans live with food allergies that impact their well-being and quality of life. Retail establishments, food companies are key players in building empathy and trust with the customer.
Modern impressions of the word ‘chemical’ are often negative. Consumers often express disgust, fear, and other negative emotions. Data suggests that consumers have many misconceptions about chemicals, which drive negative feelings about chemicals. Some of the confusion may stem from how the food industry characterizes chemicals. For example, an ingredient deck can be misleading. Consumers may perceive a shortlist of only four or five ingredients to be a cleaner food, but in fact, there are harmful substances that only require four or five ingredients, and there are healthy foods that include dozens of ingredients.
Food defense is a broad term that seeks to tackle risks to the food system from food terrorism. As food systems in the US and globally continue to increase in scale and complexity, the need for comprehensive programs that address risks to food systems has also increased. Protecting the food supply is a matter of public health and national stability, but there is often some confusion about what food defense encompasses and how best to tackle it within some parts of the industry.
After a series of large-scale food recalls due to contamination, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to overhaul the food safety system with the most sweeping reforms seen in decades. Then-president Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law in 2011, starting a cascade of fundamental shifts in how the FDA regulates food safety from end-to-end. Implementation of FSMA has been an ongoing process because of the size and scope of the new regulations.
There was a time during the 1940s when working in the food industry was considered a “war job.” It was said that food was the mightiest weapon of them all. Eight decades later, that phrasing still holds. Yet, while it once referred to the power of keeping troops fed, the message is reversed: Food can also be the mightiest weapon of them all when used against us. The intention of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Intentional Adulteration Rule from the FDA is to prevent the mass harm that can be caused by contaminating the U.S. food supply.
With the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in place for more than a decade, the FDA has focused more heavily on regulation rather than education for FSMA rules. One rule in particular, which generated more than 550 Form 483s (issued when FDA inspectors observe violations) in 2020, is the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) Rule.
Here, we'll provide a refresher of the FSVP Rule and review some of the main reasons for receiving a 483 so that you maintain compliance and stay audit-ready.
In late September 2020, the FDA unveiled the FSMA Proposed Rule for Food Traceability, a 55-page document that aims to standardize traceability practices for foods deemed to be high-risk. While the proposed rule is rather long, we’ve identified some key points for food, beverage, and CPG facilities to note.
The month of June, 2019 was busy for the FDA, as many implementation dates for requirements have come and passed or are soon approaching. As such, the FDA has issued a number of guidance documents and made a few other key developments to prepare the industry for FSMA-related changes. Below are a few of the most noteworthy updates from last month.