Syed Hassan of PepsiCo addresses Michael Taylor during FDA Town Hall. Photo: amyBcreative

FDA Investigators Take New Approach with FSMA

By Food Safety Tech Staff
Syed Hassan of PepsiCo addresses Michael Taylor during FDA Town Hall. Photo: amyBcreative

The agency deputy commissioner explains how the regulation is empowering investigators.

One of the industry concerns related to FSMA implementation surrounds the change in approach required of FDA investigators—from a resolutions approach to a systematic method of assessing systems and facilities. During an FDA Town Hall at the Food Safety Consortium, Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the agency explained that he was initially concerned about this shift, but is now pleased with the enthusiasm he sees among FDA investigators. “They’re part of a public health force that is out there empowered and supported in the verifying the systems… as opposed to the historic role of collecting evidence [and] going back to the office…” he said.

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  1. Paul

    It really is not as straight forward as one may think. It has taken years and is still work in progress since past industry food safety inspectors have had to make the translation to risk based management system audit approaches. This is a huge change of culture and requires lots of training and practical experience.

  2. Dr. John Ryan

    Food supply chain members are late comers to the need to meet requirements for control over their food safety processes. Other industries have undergone similar transformations over the past 30 years while food systems have made appearance and taste the industry priorities.

    The idea that a food safety system must be able to statistically prove its validity is clearly not understood by food suppliers. The need to do so is long overdue but is as easily attainable for food suppliers as it has been for other industries.

    Such change is a cultural transformation that cannot be ignored. Inspection as evidence of food safety was and always will be the weakest approach to food safety and it is now time meet what have now become enforceable challenges.

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