Supply chains in the food industry are more complex than ever before, and with that complexity comes greater vulnerability. Here, Greg Sommerville, Director of Supply Integrity at McCormick Global Ingredients, answers my questions about holistic supply chain risk management and the tools and strategies available to enhance it. Greg will be speaking at the upcoming Food Safety Americas 2017 held April 4-5 in Orlando, FL.
SafetyChain Software’s VP of Marketing, Jill Bender is joined by The Acheson Group’s (TAG) Founder and CEO Dr. David Acheson to discuss Listeria guidance from the FDA and how the agency suggests approaching Listeria. Here in part one, Dr. Acheson offers his thoughts on the latest news from the FDA and FSMA.
What was most important to our readers in the year’s shortest month? Take a look back at February by reviewing the 10 most-popular articles that appeared on Food Online.
Rapid methods of pathogen testing have been gaining acceptance in the food industry. Recent advances in technology result in faster detection and identification of pathogens, more convenient, more sensitive, more reproducible, and more specific than conventional methods.
Bridging the gaps between the food industry and law enforcement, along with creating long-lasting, mutually-beneficial partnerships is essential in food defense efforts. This article will explain some of those efforts, their benefits, and how the food industry can continue to collaborate to protect the food supply chain.
In early March, I had the opportunity to sit on a panel discussion with several GFSI stakeholders, representing all aspects of the GFSI certification process. The panel was moderated by Neil Marshall, global director of quality & safety strategy policy and programs at Coca-Cola; and Chris Lomauro, quality manager at General Mills. Our conversation rotated around this scenario: a brand owner found an issue with a supplier who has been previously audited and certified to a GFSI benchmarked program.
For years, the food industry has listened to predictions about the growth of online grocery shopping, but was hesitant to prepare for the unknown. Now, through technology and innovative delivery models, such as click-and-collect, the industry is more capable of responding to consumers’ growing set of complex needs, and e-commerce growth in the food industry is more realistic and achievable than ever before.
Compared to the training requirements in the Preventive Controls Rule, and certainly in the Produce Safety Rule, the requirement — or even mere suggestion — that someone take a course in order to be able to comply with the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) Rule is non-existent. Why then, has every FSVP training course I’ve taught been sold out?
Now that FSMA implementation has begun, there are several questions on what are the best approaches to develop risk-based food safety plans with preventive controls for compliance with these new regulations. Several terms have been clarified by FSMA, including the definition of a food facility. The actual definition of “hazard,” which is quite a technical definition, has also been expanded with these new regulations.
With FSMA, and accompanying rules, now finalized, the countdown to enforcement is on. In order to make food available to consumers in the U.S. market, it is important to ensure food is exported according to applicable laws.
Many stakeholders are involved in the implementation of the new nutrition label requirements including raw ingredient suppliers, nutrition labeling software vendors, graphics design and packaging companies, food manufacturers, and private label brand owners. For a successful implementation, it is imperative that each of these key stakeholders develop a comprehensive knowledge of the new requirements.
The FDA recently released draft guidance (the “Guidance”) on controlling Listeria monocytogenes (LM) and ready-to-eat foods (RTE) in conjunction with the final rule, Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCHF rule). Any FDA-regulated facility that manufacturers, processes, packs, or holds RTE foods needs to take the time to read this new draft Guidance. Why? For three reasons. First, as we all know, draft guidance can often take years before it turns to final guidance, and in the interim, FDA inspectors still rely on it as gospel. Second, whether it’s considered draft or final by the FDA, we all know the reality is guidance is often treated like directive, which in turn is often treated just like regulation. If we don’t follow it, we have a lot of explaining to do. Third, there are a few waves contained in this guidance that we, as an industry, all need to be aware of now!
All departments of any company (food production or not) need training from several perspectives, such as safety, job-specific roles, business acumen, and human rights. And other departments — accounting, production, quality assurance, upper management — they all have their roles that need training. Of course, sanitation needs to know how to clean, maintenance needs to know how to repair and upkeep, warehouse needs to know how to ship and receive. But, how important is training in the role of food safety? In a word: vital.