Post written by: Cassie VanValkenburgh
In June 2013, an article was published in Westfield’s The Commercial Line blog outlining some of the main points included in the “most sweeping reform to the food production industry in 80 years.” The overall goal of these reforms is to shift to a proactive response to food contamination, rather than a reactive one. This is being done with the addition of prevention-based controls across the industry.
This new system of controls and accountability will take time to implement. While some key components were put in place immediately, others continue to be analyzed and enhanced as industry experts voice their concerns and issues. Once those comments have been gathered and analyzed, additional publications are produced to respond to the concerns and issues being voiced.
A recent question and answer document was published on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website that addressed the concerns of brewers and distillers and the ability to continue sending their spent grains to animal feed processors. Due to the additional controls in place in the produce safety rule and the preventive controls for human food, the FDA feels the potential hazards are minimal but these businesses will need to continue following current good manufacturing practice regulations. Additionally, businesses that manufacture human food will need to monitor their controls if they forward their waste and edible by-products to the animal feed industry.
The following issues have closed their comment period and are awaiting final passage of the proposed rule. If the FDA does not feel they have enough information to issue a proposed rule, they will re-open the current rule for additional comments or revise the current rule based on the review. Once the final rule has been published, businesses must comply based on the effective date and whether or not there is a specific accommodation for the business.
Establish science-based standards for growing, harvesting, packing and holding produce on domestic or foreign farms. These standards focus on identified routes of contamination and do not apply to commodities not consumed raw, for personal use or for commercial processing.
Preventive Controls for Human Food
Applies to farms that manufacture, process, pack or hold human food and would require them to have written plans to identify and minimize hazards.
Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors
FDA proposed rule to establish a program for accreditation of third-party auditors that would be responsible for conducting food safety audits and certifying foreign facilities.
Foreign Supplier Verification Programs
Proposed regulation that would strengthen oversight of foods imported for U.S. consumers.
Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals
Proposed regulation would require practices to address manufacturing, processing, packing and holding of animal food.
Proposed Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food
Proposal would require FDA to issue regulations requiring shippers, carriers by motor vehicle or rail vehicles, receivers, and other persons engaged in the transportation of food, to use sanitary transportation practices to ensure that food is not transported under conditions that may render the food adulterated.