Saturday, October 21, 2017

Superior Food Safety Training Classes


WE OFFER PUBLIC AND ON-SITE TRAINING CLASSES:
  • HACCP Workshop
  • Implementing SQF Training - Version 8.0 - English and Spanish
  • FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Foods
  • FSPCA For Human Food Compliance
  • Produce Safety Rule Training Official Program
  • SQF Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers
  • Internal and External GFSI Audits
  • Crisis Management
  • Gluten Free Certification Program
  • SQF Advance Practitioner Course
  • Prerequisite Programs
WE ALSO OFFER: 

Food Safety Consulting Services

Please visit our website or send us an email for more information!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October SQF Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers - Register Today


26 Oct 2017 - 27 Oct 2017

Register HERE

Schedule
2 sessions
#1. 26 Oct 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
#2. 27 Oct 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM

Location
Springhill Suites, 101 Gateway Rd E, Napa, CA 94558

Registration
1-2 Attendees – $790.00
Registration closes on October 24th.
3+ Attendees - Save $50 Per Attendee – $740.00
Registration closes on October 24th. Attendees must be from same company.

This course is intended for quality, technical and managerial staff working in food manufacturing who seek to understand and differentiate between food safety management and quality management, and who are intending to implement the SQF Quality Code. This course is a great opportunity to understand the methodology and how to put in place a quality plan that will address waste, increase productivity and efficiency in your facilities.

Course Benefits

• An understanding of the link between product quality and quality management principles

• Explain the product quality parameters within a food industry sector or facility

• Apply the HACCP method to monitor and control quality parameters

• Understand and apply the ‘cost of quality’ model within a facility

• Apply the PDCA, Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, to improve quality outcomes

• Understand how quality management principles impact on product quality and productivity

• Apply and improve quality management principles within a facility.

Course Content Outline

  • Part A: Implementing and Maintaining the SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing
  • Part B: The SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing
  • Module 3: Good Manufacturing Practices for Animal Feed Production
  • Module 4: Good Manufacturing Practices for Processing of Pet Food Products
  • Module 9: Good Manufacturing Practices for Pre-processing of Animal Products
  • Module 10: Good Manufacturing Practices for Pre-processing of Plant
  • Module 11: Good Manufacturing Practices for Processing of Food Products
Attendee pre-requisites

Candidates must have successfully completed examinable HACCP training, and either Implementing SQF Systems training (minimum: edition 7), or Auditing SQF Systems/Lead SQF Auditor training (minimum: edition 7).

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Napa Valley Grape Harvest


Each year at the end of summer, the Napa Valley comes alive with the excitement and rush of harvest. After months of careful nurturing and observation, winemakers all over the valley finally give the word, "it's time."

The Stages Of Harvest In Napa Valley

Grapes for sparkling wines are the first to be picked, usually in early August, marking the start of "crush". Next, most of the white wines make their way from the vineyard to the crush pad.

Harvest continues through late October - sometimes early November - for red varieties, as they take a bit longer to reach full maturation. Harvesting of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the Napa Valley begins later than most other varieties and typically lasts the longest.

Late-harvest wines are made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual, allowing them to get riper and produce more highly concentrated sugars. Harvesting of these grapes can last until December.

To learn more and for a list of Harvest Parties and Interactive Harvest experiences please visit this link: www.visitnapavalley.com/events/harvest/

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SQF Quality Systems For Manufacturers


If you want to better understand the benefit of implementing quality systems in your Food processing facility, I invite you to read this article.

Many times companies take into consideration pricing factor without considering the pros and cons of low cost vs. high, or sub-contracting labor overseas vs. domestically.

At Superior Food Safety we find the implementation of effective quality systems in the USA food industry as one of the biggest opportunities to reduce waste and impact the bottom line and cash flow. An effective quality system focuses on compliance with finished product specifications while reducing all kinds of waste such as product, labor, excess of inventory, downtime and loss of opportunity among others.

The SQF Quality Systems for Manufacturers Edition 8.0 training will equip you with the tools you need to learn in order to put in place controls to track and reduce waste and improve your operations as a result.

Monday, October 9, 2017

FDA Extends Nutrition Facts Deadline


The FDA today (Sept. 29) announced a delay in the implementation date for the new Nutrition Facts panel, from July 26, 2018, to Jan. 1, 2020, for food processors with $10 million or more in annual food sales. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in sales have an extra year to comply — until Jan. 1, 2021.

The extension has been rumored for a while, as the Trump administration has been revisiting many "burdensome" rules imposed by the previous administration. There also remain some key vacancies at FDA and USDA, necessitating some delays.

The delay also involves the final rules (and implementation dates) for Supplement Facts and Serving Size.

Back in May of 2016, the FDA announced the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. "The new label will make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices," the agency said at the time. That gave the food industry two years to prepare for the changes.

The biggest changes were calling out added sugars, increasing many serving sizes and making calories bigger and bolder. "After those rules were finalized, industry and consumer groups provided the FDA with feedback regarding the compliance dates," the agency wrote today. "After careful consideration, the FDA determined that additional time would provide manufacturers covered by the rule with necessary guidance from FDA, and would help them be able to complete and print updated nutrition facts panels for their products before they are expected to be in compliance.

"As a result, the FDA intends to extend the compliance dates to provide the additional time for implementation. The framework for the extension will be guided by the desire to give industry more time and decrease costs, balanced with the importance of minimizing the transition period during which consumers will see both the old and the new versions of the label in the marketplace."

Article Source: http://www.foodprocessing.com/i

Superior Food Safety Training Classes

WE OFFER PUBLIC AND ON-SITE TRAINING CLASSES:
  • HACCP Workshop
  • Implementing SQF Training - Version 8.0 - English and Spanish
  • FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Foods
  • FSPCA For Human Food Compliance
  • Produce Safety Rule Training Official Program
  • SQF Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers
  • Internal and External GFSI Audits
  • Crisis Management
  • Gluten Free Certification Program
  • SQF Advance Practitioner Course
  • Prerequisite Programs


WE ALSO OFFER:
Food Safety Consulting Services

Please visit our website or send us an email for more information!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Yesterday's Internal and External Audits GFSI Workshop


Superior Food Safety's Oscar Camacho gave a workshop about "Internal and External Audits GFSI" at TORANI facilities. 

For information about our upcoming classes and workshops please visit our website: 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Changing Landscape of a Foodborne Illness Outbreak Response


New tools like online reporting allow health departments to better mitigate risks of foodborne illness.

Recent high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks appear to have an enduring impact for the entire industry – from when and how health departments respond to alleged illness to how a single tweet wreaks havoc. The bar for when a comprehensive response is required is lower and the extent and nature of the required response has changed.

Here’s what we’ve learned:

Health departments are receiving more complaints from consumers. Although much of this is believed to be related to the high-profile outbreaks, some are a result of health department websites making it easier to report illness. A few years ago, guest illness reporting required calling the health department during business hours, working your way through complex voicemail options until you reached a recorded line to leave a message about your illness. Today, most health departments in large cities and many in smaller counties, have simple on line reporting systems available 24/7. So when someone isn’t feeling well at midnight, and is sure it’s from the last thing they ate, they go online and report the illness.

Health departments are now more often following up on single reports of illness and reports of illness that are inconsistent with most foodborne illness incubation periods. This is creating a large burden for already short-staffed departments, but in response to what the public now expects. In the past, they might have replied to the ill guest and explained that they’d received no other reports, that most foodborne illness has a longer incubation period and refer the illness to personal physicians if a follow up is clinically appropriate. But today, we’re finding many health departments dispatching inspectors for even a single complaint that doesn’t appear consistent with incubation periods for that meal.

There’s increasing pressure on health departments to go public with illness events – even if the illness is no longer ongoing or creating a public health risk. The foodborne illness legal community has made it clear that they believe the public has the right to know about any and every foodborne illness. And some health departments are responding to that pressure – without their being an on-going public health risk; which would have been the trigger in the past.

Guest complaints about illness are occurring more frequently. Every single one of our clients is reporting an on-going uptick in guest reports of illness. We’re not clear if it’s that consumers are more aware of illness, more concerned or more likely to associate it with a restaurant or food service provider. But the entire industry is seeing an increase in guest reports of illness. And every guest assumes it was the last meal they ate.

How you handle any guest complaint about illness is even more critical than it was a few months ago. Here’s why: if you don’t’ respond to the guest quickly and listen with authentic empathy, that guest is far more likely than ever before to tweet about you, write a bad review, post on social media or contact the media. You need to act quickly and it doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend or holiday. Waiting until Monday morning is not an option.

Noro season is year-round now… it’s no longer the winter vomiting disease like it is called in some places. Noro virus outbreaks continued in California (and elsewhere) until after the school year ended. We need to be alert to Noro all of the time.

Employees continue to work sick. There are so many reasons that employees work sick and it has little or nothing to do with paid sick time. They work sick because they’re not very sick, they don’t understand that any gastrointestinal upset may be a sign of foodborne illness, they don’t want to disappoint their manager or they don’t want to let their team down. They’re working sick for altruistic reasons without understanding the potential ramifications. We have a long way to go in educating managers and employees about what “sick” looks like, what can happen from working sick and why we need to work together long term to change this set of behaviors.

Employee Exclusion Policies need to be revisited. Someone is shedding the Noro virus for twenty-four hours prior to become symptomatic and then at very high levels for three days after symptoms end. Sick employees need to be excluded for much longer than they currently are in most restaurants and food service establishments to control Noro outbreaks.

Employee Illness on Days Off are as critical to crisis prevention and response as illness on work days. You need to know if an employee was sick on a scheduled work day or on a day off. As we discussed previously, they were shedding the Noro virus before they got sick and for days after. Your illness response plan needs to include a very robust tool for employee illness reporting – one that is as easy to use seven days a week and raises an alert to management when there are two or more sick employees.

It’s time to redraft and recommunicate the definition of a potential crisis in your organization. In the past, we previously used the following definitions of what defined a potential crisis for a restaurant or foodservice group:

  • Two or more employee illness reports (for same time period and symptoms)
  • Two or more guest complaints (from different parties for same time period)
  • One confirmed employee illness (with a communicable disease)

Your new definition must be broader and reflect the lower trigger points for action. It may include one guest complaint from a large party, illness in a neighboring school, social media buzz about illness from your location and / or a health inspection in response to a guest complaint of alleged illness.

The takeaway: the lessons learned continue to evolve and new ones emerge with each new outbreak. Making sure we identify and share these lessons across the industry and your organization is critical for being prepared to first identify and then quickly respond to the next threat that comes your way.

Article Source: https://foodsafetytech.com/feature_article/changing-landscape-foodborne-illness-outbreak-response/

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Register Now for 2017 Classes


Developing and Implementing SQF Systems - SQF Code, 8.0 Edition
October 11, 12, 2017 Santa Ana, CA (English)

GFSI Internal And External Audit Workshop 

SQF Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers 
October 26th,27th 2017 Napa, CA 

Gluten-Free Certification Program 
November 6th 2017 Dallas, TX

Our specialty is helping you have well-defined food safety programs that help you be more successful and effective, and we make that easy for you and your team.

For more Food Safety Training please visit our website: http://www.superiorfoodsafety.com/training.html

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

October Internal and External GFSI Audit Workshop - Early Bird Registration Ends October 4th


October 20, 2017
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (PDT)


Location
Springhill Suites, 101 Gateway Rd E, Napa, CA 94558

Registration
1-2 Attendees Early Bird - Save $30 per person – $480.00 This registration is for 1-2 attendees. If you have 3 or more please select 3+ registration. Early bird ends October 4th.
3+ Attendees Early Bird- Save $70 per person – $440.00 This registration is for 3 or more attendees only. Savings based on single attendee after early bird time period. Early Bird ends October 4th.

The goals of the Internal and External GFSI Audits course are to:

- Provide and improve the knowledge, skills and abilities required by GSFI auditors, food industry professionals and internal auditors on:
  • Food Safety Management Systems
  • Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Agricultural Practices
  • HACCP Program
  • Review ISO-19011 Auditing Principles
  • Gain understanding of the GFSI schemes (SQF, BRC, FSSC2200, Global G.A.P.) from the auditor point of view

*This workshop complies with the training requirements for GFSI professionals and Internal auditors for GFSI approved schemes (SQF, BRC, FSSC22000, Global G.A.P. among others)

*This workshop has been designed by MSc. Oscar Camacho with more than 28 years of experience managing Food Safety and Quality Systems in the food industry, and based on the weaknesses found with his customers while providing auditing and consulting services.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Register Now for Developing and Implementing SQF Systems Version 8


11 Oct 2017 - 12 Oct 2017


Schedule
11 Oct 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
12 Oct 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM

Location
Hampton Inn 2720 Hotel Terrace Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Registration
1-2 Attendees – $790.00
Registration closes on October 9th.
3+ Attendees - Save $50 Per Attendee – $740.00
Attendees must be from same company. Registration closes on October 9th.

SQF Code, Edition 8. It introduces a new approach for assessing individual food industry sectors with customized requirements in separate, stand-alone Codes: Food Safety Fundamentals, Primary Production (Produce), Manufacturing, Distribution, Food Packaging, Retail, and Quality.

- The most notable change to the structure of the program is the separation of the food safety and quality requirements into individual assessments, customized for each industry segment and covering more than 30 supplier and food sector categories: produce and livestock; manufacturing; distribution; manufacturer of food packaging and a new program specific to food retail.

Course Description:

- Promote an understanding of the SQF Code.

- Create a knowledge base to facilitate the successful implementation of an SQF System and understand the process for aligning with FSMA regulatory requirements.

- Show how a HACCP-based approach manages food safety and quality hazards in an operation.

- The SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing applies specifically to Food Sector Categories 7-22, 31-34 and includes Modules 2 (Systems Elements) and Module 11 (Food Safety Fundamentals for Food Manufacturing).

- Designed to provide current and new SQF Practitioners, Sr. Management, Production Personnel, and their team members with the tools and knowledge to develop and maintain their SQF food safety management system and understand the process for aligning with FSMA regulatory requirements

Who Should Attend?

SQFP, Food Safety Professionals, Sr. Management, Suppliers, Food Safety Auditors, Support Staff.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Superior Food Safety Training Classes


WE OFFER PUBLIC AND ON-SITE TRAINING CLASSES:
  • HACCP Workshop
  • Implementing SQF Training - Version 8.0 - English and Spanish
  • FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Foods
  • FSPCA For Human Food Compliance
  • Produce Safety Rule Training Official Program
  • SQF Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers
  • Internal and External GFSI Audits
  • Crisis Management
  • Gluten Free Certification Program
  • SQF Advance Practitioner Course
  • Prerequisite Programs
WE ALSO OFFER: 

Food Safety Consulting Services

Please visit our website or send us an email for more information!

Monday, September 18, 2017

FDA Commissioner Addresses State Agriculture Commissioners; Announces New Steps to Enhance Collaboration with States and Ensure Farmers Are Prepared for FSMA


FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., today outlined a number of immediate next steps in a comprehensive approach to ensuring successful implementation of the Produce Safety Rule established by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

In a speech in New Orleans at the annual conference of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), Dr. Gottlieb announced that the agency has recognized a need for additional efforts to educate the produce industry and state regulatory partners on the new produce safety requirements, and will continue its focus on training, guidance development, and outreach over the next year. This is particularly important since the nation’s farming community has not previously been subject to this kind of oversight.

Dr. Gottlieb also announced steps the FDA will be taking to address concerns related to the complexity and feasibility of implementing standards for agricultural water.

The next steps include the following:

Agricultural Water Compliance Dates: The FDA today issued a proposed rule that, if finalized, would extend the compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements by an additional two to four years (for produce other than sprouts). The proposed extension will give the agency time to take another look at the water standards to ensure that they are feasible for farmers in all regions of the country, while protecting public health. The new agricultural water compliance date the FDA is proposing for the largest farms is January 26, 2022. Small farms and very small farms would have until January 26, 2023 and January 26, 2024, respectively. The proposed rule is open for public comment for 60 days.

(The proposed extension would also simplify the compliance framework to give all of the water requirements a four-year delay compared to farms’ primary compliance dates. The produce rule now includes a delay of two years in the compliance dates for certain agricultural water requirements, but for others there is no delay.)

The FDA does not intend to take action to enforce the agricultural water requirements for produce other than sprouts while the rulemaking to extend the compliance dates is underway. Sprouts, because of their unique vulnerability to contamination, remain subject to applicable agricultural water requirements in the final rule and their original compliance dates.

Stakeholder Engagement on Agricultural Water Standards: During the additional time that would be afforded by the extended compliance dates, the FDA plans to engage with stakeholders to learn more from farmers, state regulatory partners and other stakeholders about the diverse ways water is used and ensure that the standards will be as practical and effective as possible for all farming operations. This will include a summit on agricultural water early next year -- we will have more information on this later in the year.

Water Testing Methods: In a recent letter to Western Growers, the FDA listed eight additional testing methods from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other public health entities that it has determined are equivalent to the method incorporated by reference (Method 1603) in the Produce Safety Rule. Numerous stakeholders have asked for the FDA to recognize other methods that are appropriate for use in agricultural water testing. The FDA has posted the list of methods it has determined to be equivalent on its website, and intends to add other methods to the list as they are identified.

Produce Farm Inspections: Large farming operations will still be expected to meet all produce safety requirements set by the rule for produce other than sprouts, except those related to agricultural water, by the original January 26, 2018 compliance date. However, Dr. Gottlieb announced that inspections to assess compliance with the non-water requirements of the Produce Safety Rule for produce other than sprouts will not begin until 2019. The FDA and its state partners will use this time to provide more education, training and outreach on the new requirements. In particular, states -- in conjunction with NASDA and the FDA -- will expand On-Farm Readiness Reviews, already piloted in six states, in which a team of state officials, cooperative extension agents, and FDA produce experts provide farmers with an assessment of their “readiness” to meet the new requirements. State points of contact will receive further information on the change this week in the form of letters from the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs and calls are being scheduled to answer any questions.

Earlier this year, the FDA awarded more than $30 million to support 43 states in their development of produce safety programs. This builds on the nearly $22 million that the FDA awarded last year to 42 states. States will receive information from the FDA this week on how existing cooperative agreement funding can be reallocated to provide for additional focus on educational and outreach activities in lieu of inspections.

Training Opportunities for Producers and Regulators: The FDA remains committed to ensuring that produce farmers and state regulators have the training needed to implement the Produce Safety Rule. Training of state regulators will be a top priority for the FDA in 2018, and additional details on training opportunities and other FSMA related training courses will be provided at a webinar being scheduled for October. The agency is committed to working in partnership with farmers and the states, particularly over the next year, to ensure that the fruits and vegetables we serve our families are safe and that consumers have the greatest possible confidence in the produce they consume.

Article Source: https://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm575532.htm

Friday, September 15, 2017

Register NOW for Superior Food Safety's Upcoming Classes!


Developing and Implementing SQF Systems - SQF Code, 8.0 Edition

SQF Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers 
October 26th,27th 2017 Napa, CA 
December 6th,7th 2017 Santa Ana, CA 

Gluten-Free Certification Program 
November 6th 2017 Dallas, TX

 GFSI Internal And External Audit Workshop 
December 8th 2017 Santa Ana, CA

Our specialty is helping you have well-defined food safety programs that help you be more successful and effective, and we make that easy for you and your team.

For more Food Safety Training please visit our website: http://www.superiorfoodsafety.com/training.html

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

3 Ways to Ensure Food Safety for Packaged Foods

Critical factors that affect the safety, shelf life and hygiene of products.


Food safety and hygiene are very important aspects of food production, processing and consumption. In the absence of proper hygiene and safety protocols, the entire food chain right from the farmer who grows the food till the consumer who eats it is compromised. Food safety lapses like contamination and spoiling of food pose major health risks.

There are many ways in which a perfectly safe food product can turn hazardous. Cross contamination from animal matter, lack of hygiene among workers in processing plants, poor sanitation procedures, inadequate preservation techniques and low-quality packaging can all adversely affect the shelf life of a food product. Raw food spoils much faster than processed food, so fresh vegetables and fruits used in food processing must be washed properly and stored at optimal temperatures before they are processed.

The following are a few critical factors that affect the safety, shelf life and hygiene of food products.

1. Hygiene in Processing Plants
Personal hygiene and excellent sanitation policies are essential to maintaining food safety. Processing facilities potentially have several points of food contact equipment and food contact surfaces. There must be well developed and written standard cleaning practices or sanitation procedures for all such high-touch areas in a food processing plant. All equipment, vessels and surfaces must be monitored for bioburden or presence of microbial matter.

The workers must also be aware of good personal hygiene practices. This will help prevent cross contamination and possible spread of foodborne diseases from humans. Workers suffering from contagious diseases should refrain from coming to work and regular employee health checkups must be carried out by doctors. All staff must be trained in food and personal hygiene, and strictly follow recommended methods of hand washing and drying. Proper usage of hygiene gear including masks, caps, gloves, overalls and footwear must be ensured.

Floors, walls, drainage facilities, narrow cat-walks and all surfaces in the processing area must be cleaned thoroughly using high quality cleaning materials. The standard cleaning practices must be diligently met each time and the supervisors should ensure that the crew is doing their job properly. Quality and consistent employee training, and effective instant monitoring methods like ATP testing will help achieve these goals.

2. Good Packaging Is Crucial
The quality and suitability of packaging are also very important in determining the safety, longevity and hygiene of food products.

Evolving consumer habits, growth of online marketplaces, increased consumption of high-protein foods, popular demand for smaller portions due to shrinking family size and the rise in new global distribution channels have all impacted packaging requirements.

Sustainable and responsibly sourced packaging materials are the hallmark of advanced packaging technology. They are environmentally friendly and do not deplete natural resources. Clean label packaging focuses on using recycled materials, high-pressure packaging technology, digital packaging and 3-D printing techniques, and outsourcing of more activities to save money, time and resources.

The need for reducing food waste has been an important objective of all recent packaging innovations. According to a recent report by The Guardian, almost half of all U.S. food produce is thrown away. Global food waste can be reduced by extending the shelf life of packaged foods, thereby avoiding early disposal and excessive purchasing. Latest innovations include in-built freshness sensors in packaging that alert customers when food goes bad, vacuum skin innovations, barrier bags and modified-atmosphere packaging.

3. Consumer Awareness Is Key
The end user or the customer who buys the food product for consumption also needs to be aware of good food use, preparation and storage methods.

Fresh veggies and fruits should be washed thoroughly, chopped, diced, and sliced, and stored in clear, airtight containers in the fridge. Prepare and cook raw foods like fish, poultry and meat to extend their storage life. Cooked food can be safely frozen for a long time. In addition, many food items like casseroles, soups, sauces, stir-fries and baked foods stay safe for cooking and consumption even beyond their typically assumed use-by date.

As responsible consumers, we must be aware of the difference between use-by, sell-by, best-before and expiration dates. This will prevent us from throwing away a whole lot of perfectly edible food items from our pantries.

Conclusion
Food safety is a matter of global concern and affects the well being of billions of people all over the world. Ensuring safety, hygiene, freshness and long shelf life of food items will help reduce food waste, hunger and starvation in the world. It will also reduce the burden on limited natural resources and will help ensure a sustainable and efficient food chain.

Article Source: https://foodsafetytech.com/column/3-ways-ensure-food-safety-packaged-foods/

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

FDA Begins Winery Inspections

Wine-production facilities must have current registration, comply with Food Safety Modernization Act


San Rafael, Calif.—Wine law specialists have warned since 2011 that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) would eventually start inspecting wineries for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act. This spring those inspections started in earnest.

According to Barbara Snider, senior counsel for the California-based Hinman & Carmichael law firm, wineries from Washington state to Napa and California’s San Joaquin Valley have reported unplanned visits from the FDA. Snider told Wines & Vines that industry members expected the FDA to start inspections with the largest wineries, but that has not been the case.

U.S. wineries are required to register with the FDA as food-production facilities and renew their registration every two years under the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act. Wineries that have neglected to register with the FDA are particularly prone to receiving surprise visits, according to Snider, who recommends making sure all paperwork is current in case an inspector drops by.

She also suggested wineries appoint two staff members who know where to find the key documents in case of an inspection.

What are agents looking for? 
While consumers gobble up calendars, books and other merchandise dedicated to winery dogs, having animals in a food-production area is a no-no as far as the FDA is concerned. Inspectors also will be on the lookout for pests such as rodents and insects, and for wineries with outdoor crush pads, inspectors will want to know how they keep birds away from the harvested grapes.

“They’re going to inspect it as if it’s a food manufacturer, because they are food manufacturers,” Snider said.

Bottling lines are of particular interest because they are common spots for contamination, and as in the rest of the winery, sanitation is key. Inspectors aren’t expecting small wineries to have ozone on hand, but they will want to know the facility’s process for cleaning and sanitizing wine-processing equipment, and they’ll want to see the products used during the process. Everything should be clearly labeled.

Pesticides and other toxins should be kept in an area separate from yeast, amendments and anything else that comes in contact with grape juice or wine.

When inspectors come knocking 
The FDA is working with state health and agriculture departments, so Food Safety Modernization Act inspections might be conducted by state inspectors rather than FDA agents. Regardless, inspectors don’t have to provide notice prior to a visit, and according to Snider, “They usually won’t because they want to see you as you really are, for better or for worse.”

Employee hygiene is another topic of concern to inspectors. Cellar workers must have access to hot water to properly wash their hands, and all employees should have documented education in food hygiene.

Inspectors may also ask for records of food products received by the facility (grapes in the case of wineries, along with yeast and fining agents), so make sure weigh tags are available to the staff member appointed to represent the winery to the FDA. Records of where wine was sent after leaving the winery also need to be available for inspectors. Agents may not ask for Certificates of Label Approval, but they should also be available at a moment’s notice. Read more at:

Article Source: https://www.winesandvines.com/news/article/186032/FDA-Begins-Winery-Inspections Copyright © Wines & Vines

Thursday, August 31, 2017

FSPCA Preventive Controls For Human Food September 13-15, 2017 - Register Today!


September 13, 2017 - September 15, 2017

Schedule
3 sessions
#1. 13 Sep 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM (PDT)
#2. 14 Sep 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM (PDT)
#3. 15 Sep 2017, 8:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)


Location
Springhill Suites, 101 Gateway Rd E, Napa, CA 94558

Registration
1-2 Attendees – $890.00 
Registration is for 1 attendee, addtional guests/attendess can be added during the registration process.
3+ Attendees - Save $60 per attendee – $830.00 
Discount for 3 or more attendees from same company.

The FSPCA training materials are designed to meet the requirements for training under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.155 for the Preventive Controls “Qualified Individual” who conducts Food Safety Plan activities such as developing and reviewing a food safety plan, validating preventive controls, verifying and validating process controls among others. Attending an FSPCA course will provide assurances that the course content and resulting knowledge is consistent with regulatory expectations. Each facility registered with the FDA is required to have a Preventive Control Qualified Individual PCQI.

A preventive controls qualified individual is a person who has successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls at least equivalent to that received under the standardized curriculum from FSPCA.

The FSPCA program is based on collaboration among federal and state regulatory officials (FDA), academic food safety researchers and educators, and U.S. food industry representatives. This program is delivered by a FSPCA Lead Instructor.

This course meets the Preventive Controls Qualified Individual Training requirements. The participants will receive FSPCA Preventive Controls Qualified Individual certificate issued by AFDO.

Includes: Morning and afternoon snack breaks, Lunch, Course Materials and Certificate of Attendance.

Parking – Free parking

Hotel Booking - Springhill Suites 707-253-1900

REGISTRATION IS CLOSES September 11th, no refunds will be given after August 30th. Registrations may be transferred to another person from the same organization for the scheduled class. Cancellation fee before August 31st/2017 $250.00

Monday, August 28, 2017

Food Safety Over Past 25 Years: ‘Everything Has Changed’


Former FDA Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor reflects on industry’s progress and what the future holds.

The effect that the 1993 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak had on the food industry was tremendous. Responsible for more than 600 illnesses and the deaths of four children, the outbreak led to significant changes in the industry’s approach to food safety. “[It] drove a shift in food safety that many had been working toward for years,” said Rima Khabbaz, M.D., acting deputy director for infectious diseases at CDC during the “We Were There” CDC lecture series, adding that the focus moved to food suppliers and how they could make their products safer. “The outbreak drove a paradigm shift that opened the door to food safety,” said Patricia Griffin, M.D., chief of the CDC’s enteric diseases epidemiology branch during the lecture.

Within a few years, several actions and initiatives paved the way for notable progress. In 1994, Mike Taylor, who was administrator of USDA’s FSIS at the time, made a speech that “shocked and outraged the industry,” said Griffin, where he stated, “we consider raw ground beef that is contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 to be adulterated within the meaning of the Federal Meat Inspection Act.” From there, the USDA worked on the first major advance in meat regulation. In 1996 the agency established the Pathogen Reduction Rule to improve meat inspection. The same year CDC’s PulseNet was born, the nationwide lab network that uses DNA fingerprinting to help identify outbreaks early, along with the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), an epidemiological system that tracks incidents and trends related to food.

In a Q&A with Food Safety Tech, Mike Taylor, most recently the former FDA commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, discusses the dramatic change that industry has undergone during the past 25 years, from FSMA to technology advancements to food safety culture.

Food Safety Tech: Reflecting on how far the industry has come since the E.coli O157:H7 outbreak involving Jack in the Box in 1993, what key areas of progress have been made since?

Michael Taylor: I think there are very major ones obviously. You have to remember where things were when the Jack-in-the-Box [outbreak] happened. We were in a place where USDA programs said it was not responsible for pathogens in raw meat and that consumers are supposed to cook the product; [and] industry was operating under traditional methods. Microbial methods were typically conducted for quality not for safety; you had the loss of public confidence and a terrible situation in which consumers were pointing at industry, and industry was pointing at consumers, and no one was taking clear responsibility for safety of the product.

Now we are in a completely different environment where not only is there clarity about industry’s responsibility for monitoring pathogens, there’s also been enormous progress by industry to put in place microbial testing, something David Theno pioneered and is now a central part of food safety management systems for meat safety.

Everything has changed.

These [institutional] arrangements exist not only in the meat industry, but now across the whole food industry. There’s the emergence of GFSI taking responsibility for managing the supply chain for food safety, food safety culture taking hold broadly across leading companies in the industry, and FSMA codifying for 80% of the food supply that FDA regulates the principles of risk-based prevention and continuous improvement on food safety.

I think it’s rather dramatic how far the industry’s food safety regulatory system has come since [the] Jack in the Box [outbreak].

FST: How has FSMA helped to align industry priorities?

Taylor: Let’s focus on the events first leading up to FSMA—for example, the outbreaks or illnesses associated with leafy greens [and] peanut butter, and problems with imported products—those events in the world aligned industry priorities around the need to modernize the food safety laws and to enact FSMA. It was the coming together of industry and consumer interests, and the expert community around the principles of comprehensive risk-based prevention that vaporized into FSMA. Now FSMA is the framework within which companies are organizing their food safety systems in accordance with these modern principles of prevention.

And clearly what’s been codified in FSMA and some of the key elements are becoming organizing principles where industry is aligning our priorities for food safety. Environmental monitoring where that’s an appropriate verification control for a company’s hygiene and pathogen control—that’s clearly a priority that folks are aligning on. The issue of supplier verification for domestic and foreign supply is a priority that has been elevated by FSMA, and so has the whole issue of training and employee capacity, whether it’s in processing facilities or on farms, as well as food safety culture. If you’re going to be effectively preventive you need to deal with the human dimension of your food safety system.

These are examples of ways in which FSMA is aligning industry priorities.

FST: How have the evolution of technology and the emergence of food safety culture helped drive change?

Taylor: There’s been a lot of progress around. Going back to the meat sector, there are the basic sanitizing technologies that weren’t in existence pre-Jack in the Box to try to deal with pathogens that enter a slaughter facility with the live animals. And there are also more high tech things going on: Whole genome sequencing, for example, is a way to link cases and identify outbreaks. I think a lot of people see it as a technology that can give very robust information about where hazards are in the food supply and help focus preventive efforts. The use of environmental monitoring in prevention is another technology or practice.

Another example of where the technology is evolving in response to regulation (but even independent of it)— leading food safety companies are implementing new technologies because they are responding to the high consumer expectations around food safety and the cost of failing to prevent from an economic business destruction standpoint.

Food safety culture is an overlay here that is a meaningful way to think about what the path is, because it taps into the understanding that if you haven’t instilled the right understanding in every employee about why food safety must be a primary value to the business, you haven’t instilled it from the top down. You have much less assurance that every day every person will do their job in a way that the plan is designed to have people do their job. Continuous improvement is an inherent element of a strong food safety culture. This idea of food safety culture, which certainly pre-dated FSMA but is reinforced by FSMA, I think you’ll continue to see a positive evolution that expands the universe of participants in food production who are formally embracing it as a tool for improving their performance on food safety.

FST: What does the future hold?

Taylor: I indulge in the cliché that food safety is not a destination; it’s a journey. I think we’ll continue to progress up the ladder and broaden the implementation of these now regulatory requirements and the broader idea food safety culture. Tackling this from a global food standpoint will continue to be a huge challenge, both for leading companies who have been managing global supply chains for years as well as in emerging markets and developing countries that are aspiring to become part of global food system. They are increasingly looked to as sources of raw materials for food production, not only within developing regions but also outside. In those regions, which are starting from behind in terms of food safety related capacity both public and private, how do you bring them along and invest in their capacity and expand these modern food safety principles and practices? That’s a big challenge that lies ahead.

Article source: https://foodsafetytech.com/news_article/food-safety-past-25-years-everything-changed/

Friday, August 25, 2017

September FSPCA Preventive Controls For Human Food - Spanish - Early Bird Ends August 30 - Register Now!


September 20,2017 - September 22, 2017


Schedule
3 sessions
#1. 20 Sep 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM (PDT)
#2. 21 Sep 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM (PDT)
#3. 22 Sep 2017, 8:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)

Location
Hampton Inn 2720 Hotel Terrace Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Registration
1-2 Attendees Early Bird Ends August 30th - Save $60 per attendee – $830.00
Registration is for 1 attendee, addtional guests/attendess can be added during the registration process.
3+ Attendees Early Bird Ends August 30th - Save $110 per attendee – $780.00
Early Bird discount for 3+ only available for attendees from same company.

The FSPCA training materials are designed to meet the requirements for training under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.155 for the Preventive Controls “Qualified Individual” who conducts Food Safety Plan activities such as developing and reviewing a food safety plan, validating preventive controls, verifying and validating process controls among others. Attending an FSPCA course will provide assurances that the course content and resulting knowledge is consistent with regulatory expectations. Each facility registered with the FDA is required to have a Preventive Control Qualified Individual PCQI.

A preventive controls qualified individual is a person who has successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls at least equivalent to that received under the standardized curriculum from FSPCA.

The FSPCA program is based on collaboration among federal and state regulatory officials (FDA), academic food safety researchers and educators, and U.S. food industry representatives. This program is delivered by a FSPCA Lead Instructor.

This course meets the Preventive Controls Qualified Individual Training requirements. The participants will receive FSPCA Preventive Controls Qualified Individual certificate issued by AFDO.

Includes: Morning and afternoon snack breaks, Lunch, Course Materials and Certificate of Attendance.

Parking – Free parking

Hotel Booking - Hampton Inn 714-556-3838

REGISTRATION IS CLOSES September 18th, no refunds will be given after September 3rd. Registrations may be transferred to another person from the same organization for the scheduled class. Cancellation fee before September 3rd/2017 $250.00

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Superior Food Safety Training Classes


WE OFFER PUBLIC AND ON-SITE TRAINING CLASSES:
  • HACCP Workshop
  • Implementing SQF Training - Version 8.0 - English and Spanish
  • FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Foods
  • FSPCA For Human Food Compliance
  • Produce Safety Rule Training Official Program
  • SQF Quality Systems For Food Manufacturers
  • Internal and External GFSI Audits
  • Crisis Management
  • Gluten Free Certification Program
  • SQF Advance Practitioner Course
  • Prerequisite Programs
WE ALSO OFFER: 

Food Safety Consulting Services

Please visit our website or send us an email for more information!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

FSPCA Preventive Controls For Human Food September 13-15, 2017 - Early Bird Registration Ends August 23rd!


September 13, 2017 - September 15, 2017

Schedule
3 sessions
#1. 13 Sep 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM (PDT)
#2. 14 Sep 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM (PDT)
#3. 15 Sep 2017, 8:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)


Location
Springhill Suites, 101 Gateway Rd E, Napa, CA 94558

Registration
1-2 Attendees Early Bird Ends August 23rd - Save $60 per attendee – $830.00 Registration is for 1 attendee, addtional guests/attendess can be added during the registration process.
3+ Attendees Early Bird Ends August 23rd - Save $110 per attendee – $780.00 Early Bird discount for 3+ only available for attendees from same company.

The FSPCA training materials are designed to meet the requirements for training under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.155 for the Preventive Controls “Qualified Individual” who conducts Food Safety Plan activities such as developing and reviewing a food safety plan, validating preventive controls, verifying and validating process controls among others. Attending an FSPCA course will provide assurances that the course content and resulting knowledge is consistent with regulatory expectations. Each facility registered with the FDA is required to have a Preventive Control Qualified Individual PCQI.

A preventive controls qualified individual is a person who has successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls at least equivalent to that received under the standardized curriculum from FSPCA.

The FSPCA program is based on collaboration among federal and state regulatory officials (FDA), academic food safety researchers and educators, and U.S. food industry representatives. This program is delivered by a FSPCA Lead Instructor.

This course meets the Preventive Controls Qualified Individual Training requirements. The participants will receive FSPCA Preventive Controls Qualified Individual certificate issued by AFDO.

Includes: Morning and afternoon snack breaks, Lunch, Course Materials and Certificate of Attendance.

Parking – Free parking

Hotel Booking - Springhill Suites 707-253-1900

REGISTRATION IS CLOSES September 11th, no refunds will be given after August 30th. Registrations may be transferred to another person from the same organization for the scheduled class. Cancellation fee before August 31st/2017 $250.00

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Register NOW for Superior Food Safety's Upcoming Classes!


Developing and Implementing SQF Systems - SQF Code, 8.0 Edition

FSPCA Preventive Controls For Human Food

Our specialty is helping you have well-defined food safety programs that help you be more successful and effective, and we make that easy for you and your team.

For more Food Safety Training please visit our website: http://www.superiorfoodsafety.com/training.html

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Company Resources Critical to FSMA Implementation


It’s not necessarily the size of the company that matters, it’s whether the company has the resources to assist with FSMA compliance.

In Part II of Food Safety Tech’s Q&A with Kathy Wybourn, Director Food & Beverage, USA & Canada at DNV-GL, we discuss FSMA preparedness and alignments of the regulation with GFSI.

Food Safety Tech: Now that we’re in the compliance phase, how prepared are food companies to meet FSMA requirements?

Kathy Wybourn: It depends. Food companies must want to stay informed and make the necessary changes. What is critical in this change is the resources and organization, and not the size of a company. We still see large companies that are not ready for FSMA, same as with smaller companies. It comes down to what they have done proactively to keep up with the regulations, understanding the preventive pieces of that and the shift within their organization.

There are two pieces: It’s about being informed, plus the company’s culture for change. It comes down to management commitment. If you don’t have the management commitment to move an organization to being compliant with FSMA, you can be informed, but the culture isn’t there to support it.

FST: GFSI recently released Version 7.1 to incorporate more harmonization with FSMA. Any thoughts on this new version?

Wybourn: I was in the Technical Work Group for Version 7 guidance document. Adding in the food fraud and food defense components, and the new 7.1 Version brings the GFSI benchmark document closer to FSMA around suppliers and the use of non-approved suppliers.

It puts more requirements on the food manufacturer if they have supplier problems. For example, if there’s an interruption in the supply of a critical ingredient and you don’t have another supplier that’s going through the preventive hazard. It’s very important to know how to follow the requirements around non-approved suppliers. It all fits with the bigger picture of supply chain risks and transferring risks from a supplier (those things you don’t know about), understanding your suppliers and having a contingency plan. And if you don’t have that formal approval through your system, what are the requirements around using a non-approved supplier.

FST: How can the BRC FSMA Readiness Module help food companies with the Preventive Controls rule?

Wybourn: If you’re a BRC-certified site, it gives you guidance on what is needed to be FSMA ready. BRC benchmarked and identified what was missing in the standard and created a module that minimizes the gap. It gives you guidance and reference to the actual CFR and explains what’s needed.

Article Source: https://foodsafetytech.com/news_article/company-resources-critical-fsma-implementation/

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Oscar Camacho will be a Speaker at SQF INFORMATION DAY in Fresno on August 15!


August 15, 2017
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Eurofins Labs
1939 N Gateway Blvd, Suite 101
Fresno CA - California 93727


Join food industry professionals from all levels of the supply chain to discover the benefits of third-party food safety and quality certification. Learn better business practices that increase profits and protect brands, including lessons learned from recent food safety outbreaks. Or expand your knowledge, skills, and expertise in the field of food safety auditing.

Key Benefits:
• Gain insight on the SQF certification program
• Critical updates on food safety certification issues
• Industry peer collaboration
• Connect with potential partners who can help implement your program
• Face-to-face interaction
• Create new relationships

Event Discussion Topics:

The History and Importance of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Program
What is SQF and How to Get Started
Setting Up and Preparing for Successful Audits
SQF Certification and FSMA
The Importance of SQF – A Supplier Perspective
Effectively Using Technology to Organize and Prepare for Audits

Information Day Schedule:
8:30am to 5:00pm

Cost: $50.00 (Which includes lunch)

Who Should Attend:

Food producers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers
Food safety and quality experts, consultants, trainers, auditors, and service providers
Food organizations and officials from federal and state government food safety programs

Monday, August 7, 2017

Superior Food Safety's Upcoming Classes


Developing and Implementing SQF Systems - SQF Code, 8.0 Edition

FSPCA Preventive Controls For Human Food

Our specialty is helping you have well-defined food safety programs that help you be more successful and effective, and we make that easy for you and your team.

For more Food Safety Training please visit our website: http://www.superiorfoodsafety.com/training.html

Friday, August 4, 2017

Developing & Implementing SQF Systems Version 8 - August 9-10


ENGLISH Napa, CA - Developing and Implementing SQF Systems Version 8
August 9, 2017 - August 10, 2017


Schedule
2 sessions
#1. 09 Aug 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM (PDT)
#2. 10 Aug 2017, 8:00 AM 5:00 PM (PDT)

Location
Springhill Suites 101 Gateway Rd E, Napa, CA 94558

Registration
1-2 Attendees – $790.00
If you have more than 2 attendees, please select 3+ attendees.
3+ Attendees - Save $50 Per Attendee – $740.00
This is for 3 or more attendees from the same company.

SQF Code, Edition 8. It introduces a new approach for assessing individual food industry sectors with customized requirements in separate, stand-alone Codes: Food Safety Fundamentals, Primary Production (Produce), Manufacturing, Distribution, Food Packaging, Retail, and Quality.

- The most notable change to the structure of the program is the separation of the food safety and quality requirements into individual assessments, customized for each industry segment and covering more than 30 supplier and food sector categories: produce and livestock; manufacturing; distribution; manufacturer of food packaging and a new program specific to food retail. Course Description:

- Promote an understanding of the SQF Code.

- Create a knowledge base to facilitate the successful implementation of an SQF System and understand the process for aligning with FSMA regulatory requirements.

- Show how a HACCP-based approach manages food safety and quality hazards in an operation.

- The SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing applies specifically to Food Sector Categories 7-22, 31-34 and includes Modules 2 (Systems Elements) and Module 11 (Food Safety Fundamentals for Food Manufacturing).

- Designed to provide current and new SQF Practitioners, Sr. Management, Production Personnel, and their team members with the tools and knowledge to develop and maintain their SQF food safety management system and understand the process for aligning with FSMA regulatory requirements

Who Should Attend?
SQFP, Food Safety Professionals, Sr. Management, Suppliers, Food Safety Auditors, Support Staff.


We also specialize in Food Safety Consulting!
More info HERE

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

3 Ways to Make Transparency a Successful Business Strategy


Consumer expectations are changing how food companies approach food safety and quality.

Transparency. It’s been top of mind for years. But because of the shift in public’s interest in healthy ingredients and where they come from, businesses are responding by making transparency part of their strategic business initiatives. This includes providing a complete list of ingredients, known allergens and their nutritional information. They also want to know where and how products are sourced and handled. If this information isn’t available, it creates an air of distrust with today’s savvy consumers.

This information is becoming increasingly mandatory, not just because of FSMA and other regulations but because customers are demanding it. With globalization and increased imports from foreign suppliers, regulations as well as consumer expectations for food quality and safety has dramatically risen in the past few years. It is now one of the most critical ways you can earn consumer trust and loyalty. Here are three ways to incorporate transparency into your business plan.

1. Supplier Engagement Makes Good Business Sense
To offer transparency to customers, you must engage with your suppliers. You can’t offer your consumers the transparency they are demanding if you are not getting the information from your suppliers. Plus, it is critical to know who your suppliers’ suppliers are to mitigate risk.

Leveraging a supplier management technology solution will save you time by automating processes such as supplier onboarding and will help you keep track of documents, certificates and audits that you require.

It also helps support supplier communications so you can establish an open dialogue, which is critical when problems arise. You can’t expect a supplier to fulfill your requirements around safety and brand promise if you aren’t open about your expectations. It’s a two-way relationship that can make a huge difference in your business.

2. Label Transparency
FoodLogiQ recently published a survey that revealed supply chain transparency by food companies is a critical driver in consumer purchasing decisions and brand loyalty. Fifty-four percent of respondents want as much information as possible on the label, and nearly 40% want country of origin, allergen alerts and GMOs all identified on the label.

In this survey, those who identify as “caring deeply about the quality of food they eat,” are overwhelmingly in favor of more transparent labeling, with 86% of that demographic expecting country of origin, allergen alerts and genetically modified ingredients to be noted, and they ask that “as much information as possible” be included on the label (or menu) itself.

If a brand doesn’t provide this information, consumers will look elsewhere for it. This puts companies in a vulnerable position.

3. Building a Transparent Culture and Backing Marketing Claims
Food safety professionals and the marketing department are now working together to communicate their transparent farm-to-fork story. This cross-departmental collaboration will not only meet business goals but the teamwork strengthens the overall business.

To maintain a positive reputation, it starts with being open and honest, and engaging your customers in an authentic way. And once a brand establishes itself as being transparent, consumers are more open to trying other products from that company. Building a culture of transparency that is focused on safety and quality can be an incredible marketing advantage and give food companies an edge over competitors.

A recall, stock withdrawal or a report of a foodborne illness can wreak havoc on a business. But the worst thing you can do is hide it. If a brand has ever been under fire for false information, low-quality ingredients or a major recall, consumers know. They are more informed about your products through their online research and social media. It is better for consumers to receive this information directly from the brand than through a third-party site.

If a company is faced with a recall, it is important to involve multiple business units that each have a stake in resolving the issues as quickly as possible. Include the marketing department in your food safety plan and preventative controls so if you are faced with a recall, you have a communication plan in place.

How to Meet Transparency Business Goals
For food companies to provide this transparency, protect their brand image and earn their customers’ trust, they need full end-to-end supply chain traceability technology to modernize their processes and access real-time data. Centralizing your data creates a single source of truth to make data-informed decisions and remain compliant, all while empowering consumers to make safer, more informed decisions about the food they eat.

The good news is that food companies making transparency a priority are being rewarded by customer loyalty, as consumers are willing to pay more for those products. The previously mentioned survey revealed that 88% of respondents—from all demographics, Millennials to Boomers—were willing to pay more for healthier foods including those that are GMO-free, have no artificial coloring/flavors and are deemed all natural.

Transparency transcends all categories: From restaurant menus to labels on consumer package goods. So no matter what business you are in, implement these strategies to systematically impact on your bottom line and keep your food chain safe.

Article Source: https://foodsafetytech.com/column/3-ways-make-transparency-successful-business-strategy/

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Why Include Food Fraud Records in Your Hazard Analysis?

FSMA Preventive Controls rules require companies to identify and assess hazards.

Food fraud is a recognized threat to the quality of food ingredients and finished food products. There are also instances where food fraud presents a safety risk to consumers, such as when perpetrators add hazardous substances to foods (e.g., melamine in milk, industrial dyes in spices, known allergens, etc.).

FSMA’s Preventive Controls Rules require food manufacturers to identify and evaluate all “known or reasonably foreseeable hazards” related to foods produced at their facilities to determine if any hazards require a preventive control. The rules apply both to adulterants that are unintentionally occurring and those that may be intentionally added for economically motivated or fraudulent purposes. The FDA HARPC Draft Guidance for Industry includes, in Appendix 1, tables of “Potential Hazards for Foods and Processes.” As noted during the recent GMA Science Forum, FDA investigators conducting Preventive Controls inspections are using Appendix 1 “extensively.”

The tables in Appendix 1 include 17 food categories and are presented in three series:

  • Information that you should consider for potential food-related biological hazards
  • Information that you should consider for potential food-related chemical hazards
  • Information that you should consider for potential process-related hazards

According to the FDA draft guidance, chemical hazards can include undeclared allergens, drug residues, heavy metals, industrial chemicals, mycotoxins/natural toxins, pesticides, unapproved colors and additives, and radiological hazards.

USP develops tools and resources that help ensure the quality and authenticity of food ingredients and, by extension, manufactured food products. More importantly, however, these same resources can help ensure the safety of food products by reducing the risk of fraudulent adulteration with hazardous substances.

Geographic Distribution of Incidents for Dairy Ingredients. Graphic courtesy of USP.

Data from food fraud records from sources such as USP’s Food Fraud Database (USP FFD) contain important information related to potential chemical hazards and should be incorporated into manufacturers’ hazard analyses. USP FFD currently has data directly related to the identification of six of the chemical hazards identified by FDA: Undeclared allergens, drug residues, heavy metals, industrial chemicals, pesticides, and unapproved colors and additives. The following are some examples of information found in food fraud records for these chemical hazards.

Undeclared allergens: In addition to the widely publicized incident of peanuts in cumin, peanut products can be fraudulently added to a variety of food ingredients, including ground hazelnuts, olive oils, ground almonds, and milk powder. There have also been reports of the presence of cow’s milk protein in coconut-based beverages.

Drug residues: Seafood and honey have repeatedly been fraudulently adulterated with antibiotics that are not permitted for use in foods. Recently, beef pet food adulterated with pentobarbital was recalled in the United States.

Heavy metals: Lead, often in the form of lead chromate or lead oxide which add color to spices, is a persistent problem in the industry, particularly with turmeric.

Industrial Chemicals: Industrial dyes have been associated with a variety of food products, including palm oil, chili powder, curry sauce, and soft drinks. Melamine was added to both milk and wheat gluten to fraudulently increase the apparent protein content and industrial grade soybean oil sold as food-grade oil caused the deaths of thousands of turkeys.

Pesticides: Fraud in organic labeling has been in the news recently. Also concerning is the detection of illegal pesticides in foods such as oregano due to fraudulent substitution with myrtle or olive leaves.

Unapproved colors/additives: Examples include undeclared sulfites in unrefined cane sugar and ginger, food dyes in wine, and tartrazine (Yellow No. 5) in tea powder.

Time Series Plot of Records for Chili Powder (blue), Skim Milk Powder (green), and Olive Oil (orange)

Continue Article Here