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Columns: Are We Almost There?
With the passage of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been tasked to create approximately 50 rules, guidance documents, reports, and studies—all of which all must be implemented within very specific time frames.
Process control drives almost all food safety measures, with the exception of handwashing and hand hygiene. These remain a frontier without meaningful, measureable, and manageable standards.
Features: Eye on China
Glow-in-the-dark pork. Exploding watermelons. These recent oddities from China might seem comical were it not for the country’s abysmal food safety record, which includes deaths and illnesses caused by melamine-laced baby formula, Salmonella-tainted seafood, and clenbuterol-treated pork.
Departments: The 100% Solution to Worker Testing
Employee training has always posed challenges for food companies. Consider language, for example. English may be a second language for many employees, which raises the issue of worker comprehension. Do employees really understand the concepts and procedures being taught, particularly the importance of product safety?
Columns: FSMA Takes Shape
In less than 12 months from now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will begin requiring regulated food companies to demonstrate that they have adopted and implemented written food safety plans, with defined preventive controls designed to reduce or prevent food safety hazards.
The magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, killing more than 26,000 people and damaging or destroying more than 125,000 buildings, has also threatened the nation’s food production system and tested emergency quality assurance procedures.
Departments: Put Your Stamp on Food Safety
The passage of any new legislation is bound to bring on a lengthy period of adjustment. When that legislation is as broad and sweeping as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the period of adjustment can last years. In our last column, we addressed the new federal requirement, which begins in June 2012, that food companies adopt written food safety plans, alternatively referred to as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans. While the initiative may appear relatively simple and...
Departments: A Pioneer in Thermal Death-Time Standards
It may be common knowledge today that heat administered over time kills germs, including bacteria in food. But until the early 1900s, it was anyone’s guess for how long and at what temperature food needed to be cooked to make sure it was safe to eat.
Departments: The Power of Phages
The nature of food and foodborne illness has changed dramatically in the United States over the past century. While various technological advances such as pasteurization and proper canning have all but eliminated some diseases, new causes of foodborne illness are continually being identified.
Features: Beyond Just Testing
As food manufacturers and retailers grapple with an ever-growing list of food safety and quality compliance demands, they are looking for ways to better utilize their contract laboratories to help manage these additional compliance requirements.