SQF conference 2018

Take the SQFI Stakeholder Survey

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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SQF conference 2018

SQFI is looking to help shape the future of food safety by engaging with stakeholders in identifying their challenges. The organization invites you to participate in a survey about the SQFI program to help them better understand where SQFI meets and doesn’t meet  expectations. The outcome will help them identify priorities and areas in which they need to focus.

Survey results will be shared during the opening session of the SQF International Conference, taking place October 23-25, 2018 in Atlanta.

The deadline for survey responses is Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Take the SQFI Stakeholder Survey

Recall

E.coli Concerns: Cargill Meat Solutions Recalls More Than 132,000 Pounds of Ground Beef

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Recall

Yesterday Cargill Meat Solutions recalled about 132,606 pounds of certain ground beef products over concern of E.coli O26 contamination. The ground beef products, which were made from the chuck portion of the carcass, were produced and packaged on June 21.

“On Aug. 16, 2018, FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O26 illnesses. FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state public health and agriculture partners determined that raw ground beef was the probable source of the reported illnesses. The epidemiological investigation identified 17 illnesses and one death with illness onset dates ranging from July 5 to July 25, 2018. “ – FSIS, USDA

The company’s ground beef products were identified after an investigation of the voluntary recall by Publix Super Markets involving ground chuck products on August 30.

“FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers,” stated FSIS in an agency press release. “Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

A view of the ground beef product labels is available on the FSIS website.

FDA

FDA Issues Guidance Document for Qualified Facilities Under FSMA Rules

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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FDA

Last week FDA released a guidance document to help facilities understand whether they are subject to the “qualified facility” definition under the FSMA preventive controls rules for human and animal food. Titled “Determination of Status as a Qualified Facility”, the guidance offers frequently asked questions about the requirements for facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold human as well as animal food (defined separately—Part 117 for human food and Part 507 for animal food).

“Under each rule, qualified facilities are exempt from the hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls requirements, and instead are subject to modified requirements. These requirements include the submission of a form to attest to the facility’s status as a qualified facility, and attest that it is controlling potential hazards associated with its food or complying with applicable non-federal food safety laws and regulations.” – FDA

Facilities that fall under the PC Human Food rule must submit the first required attestation forms by December 17, 2018, and those subject to the PC Animal Food role must submit the first required attestation forms by December 16, 2019.

More information about the new guidance for industry is available on FDA’s website.

FDA

ANSI Names First Certification Body Under FDA’s Accredited Third-Party Certification Program

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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FDA

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has accredited Perry Johnson Registrars Food Safety, Inc. under FDA’s Accredited Third-Party Certification Program. The firm is the first certification body (CB) to be accredited under the program for the scopes of Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, Juice HACCP and Seafood HACCP. Under the voluntary program CBs can conduct food safety audits and issue certifications of foreign food facilities.

Once an accredited CB issues a certification through this program, importers can use it to establish eligibility to participate in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program.

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Food Safety Tech

Call for Nominations for IFSH Award

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Food Safety Tech

The Institute for Food Safety and Health is accepting nominations for the 2018 IFSH award. The goal is to recognize a professional who has made “outstanding contributions to food safety across government, academia, and industry.” To be considered, a nominee must be actively involved in the field of food safety and technology within academia, government or industry, and have exhibited significant contributions to the above areas. The nominee should also be employed by a current member or collaborator of IFSH.

If you are interested in submitting a nomination, follow the link to the 2018 IFSH Award form for details. The deadline is Monday, September 10.

Question mark

Return of FSMA IQ Test: Part VI

Question mark

Two years ago, Food Safety Tech published a series of six FSMA IQ tests to “test” industry’s knowledge about FSMA. It seemed appropriate, as at that point in time, folks still had a lot of unanswered questions. Now that we have a couple of years under our belt, how much to we know? Over the past several weeks, we published Parts I through V. This is the final test. Then at this year’s Food Safety Consortium, the creators of the test–Bill Bremer, principal of food safety compliance at Kestrel Management, LLC and his team–will compare 2016 vs. 2018 during an interactive session. And if you have questions or comments on any of the elements brought up in the IQ test, please include them comments section below the test, so Bremer’s team can address them either live on our site or during the Consortium session.

Take Part V here.

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Prop 65 label

California Proposition 65 To Impact Food Labels

By Nick Recht
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Prop 65 label

The fast-approaching August 30th deadline for California’s Proposition 65 has food manufacturers of all sizes working to make sure affected labels comply with the new labeling requirements. According to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), Proposition 65:

“…requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. These chemicals can be in the products that Californians purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By requiring that this information be provided, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about their exposures to these chemicals.”

Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, is intended to help better equip Californians to make informed decisions about the products they purchase. The OEHHA is responsible for determining which chemicals meet the legal and scientific requirements for inclusion on the Proposition 65 list, a list which has grown to more than 900 chemicals since it was originally published in 1987.

The new law will be enforced by the California Attorney General’s Office as well as any district attorney or city attorney for cities whose population exceeds 750,000. Individuals acting in the public’s interest may also seek to enforce Proposition 65 by filing a lawsuit against companies alleged to be in violation. Companies that are found to be in violation may be fined as high as $2,500 per violation per day.

To ensure compliance with the new law, food manufacturers must reference the list of included chemicals to determine which of their products, if any, are impacted. Manufacturers must then provide “clear and reasonable warnings” that chemicals used in the production of their goods or products sold in California are known to cause cancer, birth defects and/or other reproductive harm. The ruling impacts goods sold in California as well as those sold via catalog or the internet.

Proposition 65 underscores the importance of an agile labeling environment for food manufacturers, particularly as it relates to their ability to adjust labels prior to compliance deadlines. It also implores manufacturers to look to automation to reduce the room for human error. For example, labeling software can be leveraged to create a table look up so if an impacted ingredient is included in a product and printed on a label, the required warning statement is also automatically included on the label.

Leveraging a database connection to apply such warnings can help businesses mitigate risk, as failing to include a required warning could result in fines, business disruption and lost revenue. It is also important to note that compliance with Proposition 65 will require food manufacturers to stay up to date on changes, as new chemicals may be added and/or revisions to law may continue to occur. Food retailers must also stay abreast of labeling changes required by Proposition 65 to ensure the products they sell are in compliance. Learn more about Proposition 65 at the OEHHA’s official website: https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov.

Prop 65 label
Label design products can help a company add a warning statement to a current label. Image courtesy of TEKLYNX.
Chipotle

Chipotle Retraining Workers Following Illnesses that Shut Down Ohio Location

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Chipotle

Last month Chipotle Mexican Grill closed a location in Powell, Ohio after nearly 650 reported illnesses were tied to the location. The outbreak was caused by Clostridium perfringens, a type of bacteria that thrives at room temperature—in other words, food at this particular Chipotle location may have been kept at unsafe temperatures.

Following this latest incident, the company has decided it will retrain all of its estimated 70,000 employees on food safety and wellness protocols. Currently a source of the outbreak has not been found.

“Chipotle has a zero-tolerance policy for any violations of our stringent food safety standards. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure it does not happen again.” – Brian Niccol, Chipotle

In line with the company’ zero-tolerance policy, some employees who worked at the Powell location were reportedly let go after the outbreak.

Chipotle has had several outbreaks that have made headlines over the last three years.

Question mark

Return of FSMA IQ Test: Part V

By Food Safety Tech Staff
No Comments
Question mark

Two years ago, Food Safety Tech published a series of six FSMA IQ tests to “test” industry’s knowledge about FSMA. It seemed appropriate, as at that point in time, folks still had a lot of unanswered questions. Now that we have a couple of years under our belt, how much to we know? We will publish each section of the test every week for the next six weeks. Then at this year’s Food Safety Consortium, the creators of the test–Bill Bremer, principal of food safety compliance at Kestrel Management, LLC and his team–will compare 2016 vs. 2018 during an interactive session. And if you have questions or comments on any of the elements brought up in the IQ test, please include them comments section below the test, so Bremer’s team can address them either live on our site or during the Consortium session.

Take Part IV here.

Create your own user feedback survey

Tyson Foods

Report: Tyson to Buy Keystone Foods for $2.5 Billion

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Tyson Foods

This morning Reuters is reporting that Tyson Foods is acquiring Keystone Foods, a U.S.-based chicken processor, from Marfrig Global Foods SA for $2.5 billion. Neither Tyson Foods nor the Brazilian meatpacker commented on the report.
According to Reuters, Marfrig’s controlling shareholder Marcos Molina signed the deal Thursday evening.

In June, Tyson acquired organic chicken producer Tecumseh Poultry, LLC, but the terms of this deal were not disclosed.