The Food Safety Supply Chain conference brought together industry stakeholders from FDA, CFSAN, GFSI’s certification programs, academia and food companies to discuss strategies and challenges of the supply chain in a more complex global environment. The two-day event was held earlier this month at U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention in Rockville, Maryland. Here’s what some of the speakers had to say.
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You can’t build safety at the border; you have to build in safety before you get to the border… The Foreign Supplier Verification rule requires importers for first time to share responsibility of products that are coming into country. We have written this rule with a lot of flexibility. – Sharon Mayl, senior advisor for policy to the deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, FDA, on the FSMA FSVP rule
Transportation of food is a piece that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s a very important part in ensuring the safety of food…[FDA is] in the process of developing a small entities compliance guide. We’re also revising the guidance we did in 2010 to ensure that it’s consistent with the rule. – Jennifer Thomas, director, division of enforcement, office of compliance, CFSAN, on the FSMA Sanitary Transportation of Human Food rule
Food fraud can lead to a public health threat—and should be managed under a food safety management system. – John Spink, Ph.D., director and assistant professor, Michigan State University, on supply chain transparency and food fraud
When you’re looking at the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, you also have to approve your suppliers. There are several aspects to this—you have to check their record with FDA, whether they have any warning letters or on import alert. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy from them, it just means you have to investigate what the problem is. – Russell Statman, executive director, Registrar Corp., on the FSVP rule
FDA doesn’t have jurisdiction over aquaculture farms. So we’re working with countries that do. Any country that has a significant industry has good aquaculture practice programs (GAqP)— every country now has one—so we’re working with them now to make them better. – Brett Koonse, consumer safety officer, FDA, on aquaculture and food safety
[The Sanitary Transportation of Human Food rule is important because of] the role that transportation has played in the past regarding foodborne outbreaks. We have to be proactive. We can’t learn from our mistakes anymore. – Debby Newslow, president, DL Newslow & Associates
Food safety should not be about just meeting the regulations. Suppliers must still meet the standards of your business. – Jorge Hernandez, chief food safety officer, Wholesome International
Collaboration and partnership are the only way your going to gain the transparency you need in the supply chain and build your brand for the protection it needs. – Melanie Neumann, president and global food safety attorney, Neumann Risk Services, LLC
One of reasons retailers take [visibility] seriously is that we’re the last line of defense. If you buy something at the grocery store and you get sick, you don’t remember the manufacturer of the product, you remember where you [bought] the product. – Terry Levee, senior director of food safety, Giant Eagle
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