A recent survey conducted by the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) revealed that only 28 % of U.S. respondents are confident in the safety of the food they eat. In addition, when asked about food issues in general, 58% of consumers said their greatest concern was safety. Food and beverages businesses are expected to ensure that their products are safe. Food safety has become a critical area of concern for consumers, government, and for those companies that realize they need their customers trust in order to survive on the market.
The food and beverage industry is subject to many regulations stipulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Signed into law in 2011, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by moving from an approach that reacted to potential harm to a preventive framework that proactively identifies potential threats. Even though FSMA’s requirements will fully be adopted in over three years, if you want to adopt a proactive approach here’s what you should do:
Evaluate the possible hazards. The Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls rule focuses directly on this area. FSMA requires facilities to identify and evaluate all the possible hazards that could affect your activity. You will also have to periodically re-evaluate the list of potential hazards.
Implement tools to monitor the effectiveness of the preventive controls
Implement measures to prevent contamination. You must be ready to apply preventive controls, to minimize or prevent the hazard
FSMA will require you to have a written food safety plan that documents and describes the facility’s procedures for complying with the preventive controls provision.
Track and trace food. FSMA wants to ensure that you can track and trace your products. You may need specific technologies to allow real time tracking, like GPS or food traceability software.
Food safety is a serious matter and FSMA regulations apply to each stage of the food and beverage industry, from manufacturing, to processing, packaging, transporting, distribution, and retail. Before FSMA will fully be adopted, you need to understand how your business can meet its obligations and comply with these regulations.
Tom is VP of Business Development for Cooltrax Americas and has thirty years of senior management responsibility within food manufacturing, distribution, transportation and related industries. Prior to Cooltrax, Tom was founder and CEO of Truck Care Network, an organization which developed unique processes, programs and information systems providing an unparalleled approach to networking maintenance and rapid services for the commercial trucking industry. Prior to TCN he held corporate officer positions managing multi-facility food manufacturing & distribution organizations, encompassing private fleet operations of one thousand vehicles. Tom holds a degree in Dairy Science from the UMass and is certified in HACCP development and implementation.