Results: FSMA IQ Test on Sanitary Transportation of Human & Animal Food

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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The results are in for the latest FSMA IQ test about the sanitary transportation rule. If you haven’t taken the test yet, visit the survey here. Results are posted below.

  1. Data sets must be shared between shippers, carriers, loaders & receivers to ensure rules are properly implemented. TRUE
    • 76.04% answered correctly
  2. Employee training is not a requirement for the shipping of food product. FALSE
    • 98.97% answered correctly
  3. Only the personnel of the carriers transporting food product require training and training records. FALSE
    • 89.58% answered correctly
  4. Records of certified disposal of food freight loss and damage must be maintained and verified. TRUE
    • 93.81% answered correctly
  5. Foreign-supplied shipments should include records that comprise the listing of all required information to confirm the safety of the product being shipped and the shipping instructions to protect the product during shipment. TRUE
    • 98.95% answered correctly
  6. Shippers need not develop and implement written procedures to ensure compliance of food shipments unless the carrier has entered into a written agreement with the shipper to assume this responsibility. FALSE
    • 77.08% answered correctly
  7. Shipper & carrier can agree to a condition & temperature monitoring mechanism for foods that requires temperature control for safety. TRUE
    • 91.67% answered correctly
  8. Carriers need not demonstrate that they have maintained requested condition & temperature conditions. FALSE
    • 92.55% answered correctly
  9. Carriers must disclose identity of most recent prior bulk cargo & cleaning information prior to the next shipment. TRUE
    • 90.63% answered correctly
  10. It is the receiver of food shipments that ensures food is not be sold or distributed until a determination of safety is made? TRUE
    • 73.96% answered correctly
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Sanitation and FSMA: Is Your Program Deficient?

By Maria Fontanazza
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Proper sanitation plays a crucial role in the FSMA Preventive Controls rule, and FDA is paying more attention during facility inspections. However, many companies currently have deficient sanitation programs, according to Bill Bremer, principal at Kestrel Management, LLC. “It’s a key aspect of FSMA and requires that you have key personnel or a qualified sanitation manager either at each site or over each site (if it’s not local). That’s in FSMA,” he says. “In most cases, and for high-risk companies, sanitation must be supported by validated environmental testing programs (i.e., the typical swab-a-thons that FDA has done under FSMA). Sanitation chemicals that are used must be diligently approved for use and validated. In addition, chemicals must be appropriately applied, which is a big issue. These areas are key inspection points for FDA under FSMA, as well as for customer requirements. Sanitation has been elevated with FSMA and Preventive Controls, and it has to be addressed at a higher level—and for the most part, it isn’t.”

Bremer was invited by DNV-GL to discuss the importance of sanitation as a goal of FSMA in a Q&A with Food Safety Tech.

Food Safety Tech: Let’s first talk about the importance of a proper sanitation program. What are the factors at play here and what are the deficiencies with current sanitation programs?

Bill Bremer: We’re starting to conduct major sanitation program process improvements or process assessments for companies big and small. What we’re seeing in some of the key areas is that chemicals are not validated with the chemical provider. That includes the fit for use for them as well as the training of the people using them (i.e., if it’s liquid, it has to be diluted at right level and confirmed at right parts per billion).

Before you sanitize, you’re supposed to clean (in some cases it’s called debris removal). You can’t sanitize unless surfaces that are being sanitized are clean. We’re finding that cleaning isn’t done appropriately and thus companies are sanitizing over dirt, and you can’t sanitize over dirt or debris.

We’re also running into cases where the cleaning is done, and because it looks clean, a company is not sanitizing, so you run into another issue with those missed steps. And, this entire process needs to be validated and you must have records on it. You also have to support it with environmental programs, especially for high risk. So that means swabbing to make sure that once you clean and sanitize, you prove that the activities have ultimately removed any bacteria, germs or allergens from the process.

This is a high-profile area for FDA to inspect.

Some of the common deficiencies are with the program itself and the documented procedures to follow. It’s a weak area. Sometimes, a company will have different cleaning and sanitation programs documented (e.g., shift-by-shift or site-by-site), which leads to people who do the cleaning not following a standard set of instructions. It really gets down to both the programs and lack of qualified supervision and management of the cleaning and sanitation process.

Food Safety Tech: What methods should companies employ to meet FSMA requirements?

Bremer: This is an area where a diligent documentation program review is not always conducted. It’s assumed that we see the cleaning process—you see the foaming up of the cleaner, the sanitizer is all good—and we may see the cleaning record, but it’s not an SSOP, or standardized sanitation operating procedure.

However, when you look deeper and look at the documented programs, there very weak and unclear, and they need to be updated. That is one of the first things that we would investigate for a company. It’s also the qualification and training of the people—whether at the lower level or the management level, you have to be trained appropriately and the training has to be current.

Then we look at the physical process: Are they really doing debris removal in the cleaning process prior to sanitizing to make sure there’s no residue left for sanitation to be effective?

We also look at the environmental programs: Do they have a well-developed environmental program swab test? Are they using a third-party lab to validate their results? Today there are automatic test readers [that enable in-house] results. If you perform this in house, you need to have qualified people do it—and you should be checking those results with a third-party laboratory or service.

A proper sanitation program is an imperative. It’s an area where FDA is going to be investigating companies, even if they don’t have any record of products being recalled. If you look at the Blue Bell case, the big issue was that they didn’t do a good job of sanitizing their drains for Listeria, which got out of control and then it spread through the air system and to their suppliers, as well.

Question mark

FSMA IQ Test Part II: Sanitary Transportation of Human & Animal Food

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Question mark

The FSMA Sanitary Transportation of Human & Animal Food rule has a broad level of requirements that must be met across the various steps of transporting food product. Do you know the correct response to these questions?

Kestrel ManagementWorking with Bill Bremer, principal of food safety compliance at Kestrel Management, LLC, Food Safety Tech is continuing its FSMA IQ test series. Results will be posted monthly in our Food Safety Consortium newsletter leading up to the 2017 event.

Confirm your company responsibility in meeting FSMA Sanitary Transportation compliance by answering True or False.

 

FoodLogiQ

FoodLogiQ Secures New Lead investor

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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FoodLogiQ

FoodLogiQ announced they have secured a lead investor for their new growth strategy, according to a press release. The Series B financing round is led by Renewal Funds, a venture capital firm focused on food and technology companies with strong values and mission.

“Renewal’s focus on food and tech companies at the forefront of social and environmental change aligns perfectly with FoodLogiQ’s mission,” says Dean Wiltse, chief executive officer of FoodLogiQ.

According to the press release, the partnership will help secure funding for FoodLogiQ’s mission “to map the world’s food chain, make it as safe as possible and empower people to make informed decisions about the food they eat.”

“We could not be more pleased to help accelerate the growth of the industry leader in food supply chain traceability, visibility and transparency,” says Paul Richardson, chief executive officer at Renewal Funds. “The platform that FoodLogiQ has built is completely changing the food industry, and Renewal Funds is thrilled to help fuel that change.”

Learn More about BRC & FSMA Readiness

This video on BRC’s FSMA readiness module is designed to help companies understand how well their facilities are prepared for FSMA. Featuring John Kukoly, Director of BRC’s Americas, the video delivers information on what the program is, how it should be prepared for, expectations for audit time, and how to get started.

Scott Gottlieb, M.D., FDA

FDA Commissioner Announces Steps To Support Produce Safety Rule

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Scott Gottlieb, M.D., FDA

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced the next steps in their approach to implement the Produce Safety Rule that was established by FSMA. During the September 12th speech at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Dr. Gottlieb outlined new measures the FDA will be taking, including compliance dates for agricultural water standards, recognized water-testing methods, and inspections related to non-water requirements of the produce rule.

According to the press release, Dr. Gottlieb also announced steps the FDA will take to “address concerns related to the complexity and feasibility of implementing standards for agricultural water.” One proposed rule concerning agricultural water compliance dates, if finalized, would extend compliance dates by up to four years for produce other than sprouts.

The press release states the reasoning behind this change is allowing the FDA to revisit those standards, ensuring they are implementable for farmers across the country. Sprouts are an exception here because of their high risk for contamination and will remain subject to original compliance dates.

The announcement also covered key changes to produce farm inspections, water testing methods and training opportunities for producers and regulators. For more information, see the press release here and the full text of Dr. Gottlieb’s speech here.

3M Acquires Elution Technologies in Expansion of Allergen Detection Services

3M has acquired the company Elution Technologies as of September 7, 2017. The acquisition enables 3M to add a new product to its portfolio that enables food and beverage companies to test for allergens such as peanuts, milk or soy.

“Elution Technologies’ test kits offer proven technology with an easy-to-use design that delivers fast and accurate results for companies offering peanut-free, gluten-free and other specialized foods for people with certain sensitivities and allergies,” said Polly Foss, general manager, 3M Food Safety. “We are pleased to add this technology to our broader food safety offering, and extend these important solutions to food processing companies across the globe.”

Testing for allergens has become increasingly important in the food industry. To find out more about this acquisition, please visit the 3M website.

Compliance

FDA Releases Small Entity Compliance Guide for Produce Safety Rule

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Compliance

Learn more about FSMA implementation strategy at the 2017 Food Safety Consortium | November 28–December 1FDA has released a Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG) to help small and very small businesses comply with the Produce Safety Rule. The SECG provides assistance for farmers in determining whether they are eligible for a qualified exemption and can help them understand the modified requirements as a result.

The compliance dates under the Produce Safety rule are as follows:

  • Small businesses: January 28, 2019
  • Very small businesses: January 27, 2020
  • Sprout operations: January 26, 2018 (small businesses) and January 28, 2019 (very small businesses)
  • There are also extended compliance dates for certain agricultural water requirements

Results: FSMA IQ Test on Foreign Supplier Verification Program

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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The results are in! A couple of weeks ago, we asked readers to take a survey to test their knowledge of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, and most passed with flying colors. If you didn’t take the test yet, you can view it here. The following are the results:

  1. You are only required for your foreign suppliers to meet your company requirements. FALSE
    • 89% answered correctly
  2. All required records for each applicable foreign-supplied product must be maintained for each shipment. TRUE
    • 93% answered correctly
  3. Your FSVP does not require that information for each lot of each product under the program be provided. FALSE
    • 84% answered correctly
  4. Just the location of the manufacturer of the product is required for the entity. FALSE
    • 90% answered correctly
  5. Foreign supplied shipments should include records to comprise the listing of all required information. TRUE
    • 91% answered correctly
  6. A qualified foreign supplier must have a Qualified Individual over the manufacturing of food product that is shipped to the United States. TRUE
    • 83% answered correctly
  7. A foreign supplier does not need to be registered under FDA requirements if the shipment of product is going to a registered facility in the United States. FALSE
    • 78% answered correctly
  8. A foreign supplier of food to the United States must ensure that all the requirements of a FSMA Food Safety Plan under cGMP117.126 be met for the manufacture of the food being exported to the United States. TRUE
    • 94% answered correctly
  9. The product information, including COA compliance, is not required for each lot of a product on a foreign-supplied shipment. FALSE
    • 83% answered correctly
  10. A food broker of foreign-supplied product to the United States does not have any responsibility of meeting the FSMA requirements. FALSE
    • 92% answered correctly
Dollar

Pathogens Drive More Than Half of $12 Billion Global Food Safety Testing Market

By Maria Fontanazza
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Dollar

The importance of food safety testing technologies continues to grow, as companies are increasingly testing their products for GMOs and pesticides, and pathogens and contamination. Last year the global food safety testing market had an estimated value of $12 billion, according to a recent report by Esticast Research & Consulting. Driven by pathogen testing technologies, the global food safety testing market is expected to experience a 7.4% CAGR from 2017–2024, hitting $21.4 billion in revenue in 2024, said Vishal Rawat, research analyst with Esticast.

With a CAGR of 9.3% from 2017–2024, rapid testing technologies are anticipated to lead the market. Testing methods responsible for this growth include immunoassays (ELISA), latex agglutination, impedance microbiology, immune-magnetic separation, and luminescence and gene probes linked to the polymerase chain reaction, said Rawat, who shared further insights about the firm’s market projections with Food Safety Tech.

Food Safety Tech: With the GMO food product testing market expected to experience the highest growth in the upcoming future, can you estimate the projected growth?

Vishal Rawat: The GMO food product testing market is estimated to generate a revenue of approximately $5.2 billion in 2016. The market segment is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% during the forecast period of 2017–2024. This is a global market estimation.

FST: What innovations are occurring in product testing?

Rawat: Nanomaterials and nanobased technologies are attracting interest for rapid pathogen testing. Sustainable technologies such as edible coatings or edible pathogen detection composition can attain a trend in the near future. Also, new rapid allergen testing kits are now emerging out as the latest food testing technology in the market, which are portable and easy to use.

FST: Which rapid pathogen detection testing technologies will experience the most growth from 2017–2024?

Rawat: New and emerging optical, nano-technological, spectroscopic and electrochemical technologies for pathogen detection, including label-free and high-throughput methods would experience the highest growth.

FST: What pathogen testing technologies are leading the way for meat and poultry in the United States?

Rawat: The presence of a microbial hazard, such as pathogenic bacteria or a microbial toxin, in ready-to-eat (RTE) meat or poultry products is one basis on which these products may be found adulterated. The FSIS is especially concerned with the presence of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157: H7, and staphylococcal enterotoxins in RTE meat and poultry products. Rapid pathogen testing for E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella, for ground beef, steak and pork sausages is going to lead the U.S. market.

An overview of the report, “Food Safety Testing Market By Contaminant Tested (Pathogens, GMOs, Pesticides, Toxins), By Technology (Conventional, Rapid), Industry Trends, Estimation & Forecast, 2015– 2024” is available on Esticast’s website.