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: What is a ‘Healthy’ Food? - FDA Reconsidering the Definition of ‘Healthy’

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

March 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM

healthy_reg_blog.jpegWhat is a “healthy” food? Should a “healthy” food contain specific levels of vitamins and minerals? Conversely, should a “healthy” food limit potentially harmful components such as saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar or sodium? Questions surrounding the definition of a “healthy” labeling claim have surged in recent years due to the rising consumer demand for nutritious foods. 

To address this labeling issue, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) convened a meeting this month with industry stakeholders and consumer advocates. The meeting featured panel sessions, oral presentations and breakout sessions to facilitate a discussion regarding scientific data, consumer perceptions, and the current federal nutrition guidelines. Ultimately, the goal of the meeting was to reach a consensus supporting a revised definition and regulatory criteria for a “healthy” food labeling claim.

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Topics: Nutritional Labeling, FDA Regulation Updates, Regulations, Health Claims, Label Claims, Food Label

Regulatory Round-Up: Keys to Preventing Undeclared Allergens and Reducing Recalls

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

March 9, 2017 at 10:00 AM

meat_allergens_blog.jpgA decade ago, allergens were an uncommon cause of meat and poultry product recalls in the United States. The proportion of meat and poultry products recalled annually due to allergens steadily increased from 8% in 2008 to 35% in 2012 due to increased awareness of the issue by inspection personnel and establishments. Moreover, the total number of recall events involving meat and poultry products due to undeclared allergens increased 103% between the calendar years 2012 and 2015. Undeclared allergens have now become the leading reason for recalls of meat and poultry products from the U.S. marketplace. 

To address the upward trend in undeclared recalls, the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) will host a public meeting in Washington DC on March 16 to discuss a strategic approach for establishments to reduce recalls due to undeclared allergens. The meeting will focus on the agency’s policy regarding undeclared allergens, labeling compliance and best practices for prevention.

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Topics: FSIS, USDA, Allergens,, Regulations, Product Recalls, Poultry, Meat, Meat Industry, Undeclared Allergens

Regulatory Round-Up: New Canadian Food Safety Regulations Target International Harmonization

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

February 9, 2017 at 10:00 AM

sfca_blog.jpgBelieve it or not, it's been nearly five years since Canada approved its comprehensive food safety legislation known as the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA). The legislation was developed to streamline Canada’s food safety regulations, improve regulatory oversight, and increase international regulatory alignment with its key trading partners, particularly the United States. To implement the legislation, Canada recently published the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. 

Foodborne illness affects an estimated four million Canadians annually, resulting in 238 deaths and nearly 12,000 hospitalizations. Since 2011, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has reported 84 recalls related to fresh fruits and vegetables, and more than 1,500 food product recalls attributed to non-federally registered establishments not covered by the existing commodity-based regulations. Health Canada has suggested the increasing incidents of food safety issues have been attributed to expanding consumer preferences for minimally processed foods (e.g. bagged salads) as well as new production and distribution systems.

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Topics: Food Safety, Regulations, Canada, CFIA, Preventive Controls, Safe Food for Canadians Act, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, SFCA

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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