Food Safety & Quality Blog
Mérieux NutriSciences is dedicated to helping companies worldwide find practical solutions to today's food safety and quality challenges throughout the supply chain.

Help! A Guide to Upcoming Menu Label Regulations

Posted by Sophie Plummer

October 24, 2016 at 1:30 PM

shutterstock_193166291.jpgWith Halloween around the corner, don’t let the rapidly approaching deadline for menu labeling regulations scare you. You may not want to think about next May, but you must! Especially if you are in the restaurant or food service industries.

Beginning May 5th, 2017, all restaurants and food service providers with 20 or more establishments under the same name or that serve the same type of food are required to list calories on menus and menu boards. You may not think this is a big deal, but in addition to printed menus, consider the number of restaurants that offer online menus on their website, apps, and 3rd party websites such as GrubHub or Yelp. This project is a bit of a doozy!

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Topics: Restaurant Menu Labeling, Menu Labeling, Nutrition, Lab Analysis, Database Calculation

Are You Up-To-Date on Glyphosate?

Posted by Katie Schott

October 19, 2016 at 1:30 PM

shutterstock_378322951_copy.jpgIn case you haven’t noticed, consumer demand for transparency in food production has been the at the center of the news in the past few months. Most recently, you may have been hearing a lot about the herbicide glyphosate due to its presence in a number of oat and honey products.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, glyphosate has been in use since 1974 and is now one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. It kills weeds by destroying proteins essential to their growth. 

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Topics: GMOs, Natural, Glyphosate, Herbicide, Label Claims, Oats

Regulatory Round-Up: Implementation of FSMA Produce Safety and Foreign Suppliers Verification Programs

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

October 17, 2016 at 10:00 AM

States Preparing to Implement Produce Safety Rule

fruit_and_vegetable.jpgA partnership between federal and state regulators is vital for the successful implementation of the produce safety programs mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). On September 9, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that 42 states will receive $21.8 million over a five-year period to facilitate the implementation of the produce safety rules. The participation of state regulators in the implementation of state produce safety programs is dependent upon federal funds, according to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). State and federal agencies will begin to coordinate efforts soon as certain produce safety requirements will take effect in January 2018 for large farms.

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Topics: Food Safety, FDA Regulation Updates, FDA, Produce, Foreign Suppliers, Foreign Suppliers Verification Program, Produce Safety

Digesting the New FDA Dietary Fiber Definition

Posted by Nick Price

October 12, 2016 at 10:00 AM

fiber_blog_photo.jpgDietary fiber has received a significant amount of attention recently as part of a series of updates made to nutrition facts labels rolled out by FDA earlier this spring. The agency’s new definition of dietary fiber is “non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with 3 or more monomeric units), and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants,” and “isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (with 3 or more monomeric units) determined by FDA to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health.” The key here being ‘beneficial fiber’ as defined by FDA.

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Topics: Nutritional Labeling, FDA Regulation Updates, Dietary Fiber, FDA

Analytical Association Recognizes Mérieux NutriSciences Scientist

Posted by Pam Coleman

October 10, 2016 at 1:30 PM

meat_analysis.jpgBack in 1984, as a very young scientist, I attended my first meeting of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC), now AOAC INTERNATIONAL. Established over a century ago, the association is dedicated to ensuring analytical methods address the needs of stakeholders in several industries, including the food industry.

Through its work, AOAC helps companies state the nutritional value of products with added confidence while minimizing health risks associated with microbiological and chemical contaminants. AOAC INTERNATIONAL conducts Expert Review Panels, publishes Official Methods of Analysis, and sets standards for analytical performance for methods. Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), AOAC is now addressing a broader scope of complex food safety issues than back in 1984. As a leader in the food safety industry, Mérieux NutriSciences scientists have been heavily involved in the association over the past three decades.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Research, Food Science, Method Validations, AOAC

Regulatory Round-Up: Proposition 65 and Infant Formula Health Claims

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

October 3, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Proposition 65 Update – Aspartame, Vinyl Acetate, Nitrite 

regulatory_compliance-3.jpgAn upcoming meeting of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) will consider the carcinogenic risks of several food, pesticide and packaging chemicals, including aspartame. OEHHA, the agency responsible for maintaining the state’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, recently released hazard identification materials for several chemicals to facilitate public consultation. Under Proposition 65, products containing a listed chemical in excess of the regulatory threshold must display a warning label indicating the presence of a known carcinogen or toxin.

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Topics: Food Safety, FDA Regulation Updates, FDA, Infant Formula, Proposition 65, Health Claims

Preventing Listeria and Other Pathogens in Food Production

Posted by Paige Krzysko

September 26, 2016 at 2:00 PM

dreamstime_m_79316.jpgIn preventing foodborne illnesses, several different factors play a pivotal role in safeguarding final products. Several recent recalls associated with Listeria monocytogenes are prompting food manufacturers to ensure their food safety management plans address all possible sources of in-plant contamination.

Listeria can be life-threatening to individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnant women or older adults. Dairy, prepared foods, produce and seafood were the matrices most commonly contaminated with Listeria over the past five years, according to data from the latest FDA Reportable Food Registry (RFR) report.

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Topics: Food Safety, Environmental Monitoring, Microbiology,, Food Testing, Pathogens

4 Nutrition Must-Reads This Fall

Posted by Pam Coleman

September 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM

shutterstock_355492397.jpgOver the summer, Biofortis nutrition science experts authored four articles detailing how specific ingredients and foods impact health. Cranberries, corn starch fiber and partially hydrogenated oils were featured prominently in our contributions to industry publications over the past few months as part of a larger examination of how food affects health.

Beyond the primary foods featured in these studies, the methods used to study them also offer useful insight. These studies use three different tools: meta-analysis, randomized clinical trials and evidence mapping.

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Topics: Research Methods, Evidence Mapping, Research, Randomized Clinical Trials, Reading List, Food Science, Meta Analysis, Nutrition Research

Nutrition & Menu Labeling: Understanding Database Calculation vs Analytical Testing

Posted by Camilla Sugiarta

September 1, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Regulations, Regulations
calories_in_breakfast_200px.jpegWith food and beverage labeling regulations being passed down by FDA, many retailers, manufacturers and restaurants have to rethink their labeling strategy to comply with these new rules. Some of these new and updated regulations include nutrition facts labeling regulations and menu labeling regulations. In order to comply with these requirements, nutritional analysis may need to be performed. These nutritional results could be used for nutrition facts labels for US and Canadian food and beverage packaging, or calorie and nutrition information for menu labeling. Manufacturers, retailers and restaurants alike must factor in how they will update their nutrition and menu labels when planning their compliance strategies.

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Topics: Nutritional Labeling, Restaurant Menu Labeling, Menu Labeling, Nutrition, Analytical Testing, Database Calculation

The New GMO Law: 4 Takeaways for Food Manufacturers

Posted by Seth Keller

August 26, 2016 at 10:45 AM

female_scientist_look_at_plant_sample.jpgA majority of consumers find the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) debate complex and confusing, especially with regulations varying from country to country. With the growing push to eat more “all natural” and “organic” foods comes increased concerns about products that are manufactured with genetically modified ingredients, irregardless of concrete evidence that GMOs are either good or bad for human health.

After months of debate in Congress, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law requiring the labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients on July 29th. To make more sense of the new law, below is a brief list of the main takeaways from the legislation:

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Topics: Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs

What Mérieux NutriSciences Did This Summer: IFT and IAFP Post-Show Highlights

Posted by Pam Coleman

August 12, 2016 at 10:30 AM

summer_blog_3.pngWhile some dive headfirst into summer vacation, research scientists from the Silliker Food Science Center (FSC) dove headfirst into the “show season” by bringing their expertise to the 2016 meetings of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).

Our multi-tasking research scientists manned our exhibition booths, met with customers, attended sessions on industry trends, reviewed advances in diagnostic equipment and presented results from scientific projects, many of which were conducted in collaboration with industry leading companies.

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Topics: Food Safety, Trade Shows, IFT, IAFP

FSMA and Imported Food – Will the FDA’s New Strategy Improve Food Safety?

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

July 29, 2016 at 9:30 AM

containers.jpgAll domestic and foreign food facilities that manufacturer, process, pack or store food for sale in the United States must register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to recent government data, approximately 114,000 foreign food facilities exporting to the U.S. are located in more than 200 countries, and 19% of the American food supply is now imported.

The growing number of foreign food facilities and expanding volume of imported food is fueling an increasingly complex U.S. food supply chain. Imported food has been linked to several high profile food safety events in recent years and remains a significant concern. In fact, one of the core objectives of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was to ensure the safety of imported food.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FSMA, Imported Food

The Importance of a Strategic Environmental Monitoring Program

Posted by Paige Krzysko

July 22, 2016 at 9:30 AM

brochure3_blog.pngEnvironmental monitoring plays an instrumental role in ensuring food safety at plant facilities. Product contamination is a leading cause of recalls and FSMA will soon require verification of preventive measures taken to keep food safe. Accordingly, companies should invest in monitoring programs to catch potential problems before products are released for consumer consumption.

To develop a comprehensive food safety program under FSMA, plant management teams need to determine the areas in a facility where hazards may exist, establish preventive controls and verify that those controls are effective. This ties directly into environmental monitoring because companies are strongly recommended to regularly collect samples from different areas of production plants, particularly in areas with potential hazards.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Training, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Environmental Monitoring, Training, FSMA

Writing a FSMA Compliant Food Safety Plan

Posted by Paige Krzysko

July 15, 2016 at 9:30 AM

writing-1.jpgIn 2015, the FDA published their FSMA final rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food. The new rule states, “covered facilities must establish and implement a food safety system that includes an analysis of hazards and risk-based preventive controls.”

Said food safety system must include a written food safety plan. Food manufacturers covered by the rule that previously utilized the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) guidelines to establish their food safety system will need to take additional steps to adhere with the FSMA compliant Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC). The main difference between the two comes in the added HARPC requirement to evaluate potential hazards and implement measures to prevent them.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Training, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), HACCP, FSMA, Webinars, HARPC

PDCAAS - What's This All About?

Posted by Sneh Bhandari

July 8, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Co-authored by Nick Price

IND_DAI_white_milk-1.pngTake a look at nutritional labels from different foods and you will see %Daily Values for most of the nutrients, but rarely for protein. This is because the declared amount of protein in products needs to be adjusted for its ability to provide us with sufficient amino acids.

In general, the %DVs declared on nutritional labels can either involve simple math or be complicated. For example, a serving of fluid milk with 300 mg of calcium supplies 30% of its DV, while peanuts with 35 mg calcium provide 4% of its DV. Both use 1,000 mg/day as the Daily Value. For protein, you must also factor in how well it is used by our bodies. Fluid milk containing 8g protein in a serving supplies 16% of its DV; however, peanuts containing the same amount of protein in a serving supplies only 8% of its DV. PDCAAS is the way to measure the nutritional quality of a protein.

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Topics: Nutritional Labeling, Nutrition, Protein, PDCAAS

Manufacturing Infant Formula Under FSMA Regulations

Posted by Paige Krzysko

June 24, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Baby_drinking_200_px.jpegInfant formula acts as a partial or complete substitute for breast milk in the early years of life, and as such must provide all of the necessary nutrients for a growing infant. Unlike older children who can eat a variety of foods for a balanced diet, all dietary needs for a baby need to be met by this singular source. A lack of necessary nutrients as an infant can have long-term, adverse effects on development as a child grows.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FSMA, Infant Formula

Some Thoughts on the Value Proposition for On-Site Laboratory Services – an Insight for On-Sight

Posted by Steve Barnett

June 17, 2016 at 10:00 AM

lab_workers.jpgIn the continuous pursuit of providing increased safety and quality for products in the food market, oft-times companies are required to think out of the box. As part of this multi-dimensional thinking, growing numbers of food companies are weighing the options for integrating third-party on-site laboratories into their production process. To this sometimes complex question – “should we go third party, on-site?” – there is a very simple answer – “it depends.”

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Testing, on-site laboratories

Final FSMA rule targets intentional adulteration – Eight things to know about the new regulation

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

June 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

fsma_blog_size_image.jpegThe seventh and final major rule mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was recently published paving the way for the full implementation of the law. The final rule for mitigation strategies to prevent the intentional adulteration of food, also known as ‘food defense’, imposes new requirements for foreign and domestic food facilities. Following are eight points to know about the ‘food defense’ final rule and a few notes regarding the related issue of economically motivated adulteration.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FDA Regulation Updates, FDA, FSMA, Food Defense

Challenges of Feeding a Growing Global Populace

Posted by John Williams

June 3, 2016 at 9:00 AM

globe-2.jpg"The place that food occupies in the social and political scene on this planet is central; no individual, institution or country can afford to neglect it." -- A.H. Rose

Food safety and nutrition are major global public health challenges. By 2050, the world’s population will reach nearly 9.2 billion, 34% higher than today. The 5th Better Foods for Better Health symposium, organized by the Fondation Mérieux with the support of Mérieux NutriSciences, was recently held in France.

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Topics: Food Safety, Nutrition, Better Foods for Better Health, Public Health

ISO 17025: What You Should Know

Posted by Paige Krzysko

May 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Webinar.pngThe International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets the international standards for laboratories that conduct tests and calibrations, as well as sampling. ISO 17025 certification offers a tangible way to guarantee to clients that a laboratory meets the requirements to successfully manage all aspects of sampling and testing.

The certification proves that a laboratory is competent in its technical tests/calibrations and is operating according to the ISO management guidelines. Obtaining the accreditation requires an extensive audit process of several different technical functions of the lab, including test and calibration methods, sampling, and handling of test results. Every lab function related to the test being considered for certification must be documented and maintained as part of this process.

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Topics: Education, Food Safety Training, ISO 17025, Webinars

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