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.

Regulatory Round-Up: Third-Party Audits, GFSI and FSMA – FDA Seeks Strategic Partnerships for Imported Foods

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

February 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM

reg_roundup_2.23.jpgQuestions about the role of industry standards for complying with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) have existed since the law was enacted more than six years ago. Due to the upcoming requirements for foreign supplier verification, industry stakeholders are urging the FDA to extend the compliance date, and to clarify the role of private entities for supporting compliance with the new FSMA requirements for imported food. 

The role of strategic partnerships for improving the safety of imported food was the focus of a two-day FDA public hearing held last week (February 14-15, 2017). The hearing followed public meetings held last year on imported food safety, which raised questions about the role of private certification schemes and third-party audits for supporting compliance with FSMA by foreign suppliers.

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Topics: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), GFSI, FSMA, Imported Food, Foreign Suppliers, Foreign Suppliers Verification Program, FSMA Compliance

Technical Tuesdays: Protect It - It's Going to Animal Food

Posted by Jeff Strout

January 10, 2017 at 1:00 PM

animal_food_blog.jpgYears ago, I was in a production facility, and a worker threw some trash into a barrel of product destined for a local pig farmer. The worker thought his actions were acceptable because of the common belief that pigs eat anything. 

Over the years, many production facilities have taken products and by-products failing to meet finished product specifications and have sold them to “pig farmers” or other animal food companies. As I witnessed, sometimes employees would throw foreign material into the “pig food” or “animal food” container. Often, this product would be offered for “free” to farmers, as long as they picked it up frequently. Commonly, these containers on the back dock or in a walk-in refrigerator would not be labeled. Workers would throw trash in them because they were not trained about the risk of mixing trash with potential animal feed. 

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Pet Food, FSMA, FSMA Compliance, Animal Food

FSMA Roadmap: 5 Steps to Preventive Control Compliance

Posted by Jeff Lucas

December 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM

fsma_blog.jpgAre you trying to determine where to start on your journey to Preventive Controls Compliance? Well, you are not alone. It seems every day uncovers a new, little nuance that does not fit in a neat FSMA box. Start on the path to Preventive Controls compliance with our five steps below: 

1. Focus on what we already know. Many rules have yet to be implemented, and the guidelines are not available. So, focus on finding a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) training program. Attending a PCQI training program will jump start your efforts toward Preventive Controls compliance. After training, assemble your team to review the process flow chart, your raw material(s) and an ingredient hazard analysis. If a flow chart or hazard analysis has not been developed, this should be your first step. It is important to note that the preventive control rule does not require a flow chart, but it is almost impossible to perform a hazard analysis without one. 

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Topics: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FSMA, Preventive Controls, FSMA Compliance

Regulatory Round-Up: FSIS Unveils Strategic Food Safety Goals

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

December 12, 2016 at 10:00 AM

regulatory_blog2.jpegThe USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently unveiled its five-year strategic plan for ensuring the safety of meat, poultry and processed egg products. Covering the fiscal years 2017-2021, the objectives of the Strategic Plan are classified within the core goals of preventing foodborne illness, modernizing inspection systems and scientific techniques, and improving operational excellence. 

To prevent product contamination and related illness from FSIS-regulated products, the agency intends to strengthen sampling programs, promote food defense practices, and ensure domestic establishments are meeting pathogen reduction performance standards. The alignment of domestic and international program sampling objectives and the strengthening of existing testing activities for imported products were identified as additional priorities. 

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Topics: FSIS, Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FDA Regulation Updates, FDA, FSMA, Voluntary Qualified Importer Program, Whole Genome Sequencing

Regulatory Round-Up: New FSMA Guidance Tackles Hazard Disclosure, VQIP

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

November 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM

regulatory_blog.jpegImplementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations will continue despite the outcome of the recent presidential election and suggestions to reduce federal oversight of the food industry. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published two guidance documents to support industry compliance with upcoming FSMA regulations, including the controversial FSMA requirement for disclosing hazards, and the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP). 

Written disclosure statements for identifying hazards are mandated by four of the seven foundational FSMA rules, including the rules for preventive controls for human food, preventive controls for animal food, produce safety, and foreign supplier verification program (FSVP). 

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FDA Regulation Updates, FDA, FSMA, Foreign Suppliers, Foreign Suppliers Verification Program, Voluntary Qualified Importer Program

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

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

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

FSMA Regulations to Watch in 2016

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

February 12, 2016 at 1:05 PM

EnviroMapThe Food and Drug Administration is preparing to make 2016 the ‘Year of FSMA’. Responding to statutory deadlines and mounting pressure to implement the landmark food safety law, the agency issued five regulations mandated by Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) within the past six months, and plans to introduce additional FSMA regulations in the coming months. Enforcement of several significant FSMA regulations will also begin this year. 

Although the food safety law was enacted more than five years ago, FDA regulations to implement the law have been slow to come. While several new requirements were rolled out with the law in 2011, the most significant regulations were first proposed in 2013.

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


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