A Look at FSMA Rule #6: Sanitary Transport [Podcast]

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Apr 26, 2016 / by Traci Slowinski

The FDA has rolled out the 6th FSMA rule called Sanitary Transport. This is an exceptionally important regulation as there hasn’t really been any designated regulatory requirements around this area within our system to date. While everyone imagines that it is good business sense to ensure that all transportation of our food supply is handled in a safe and wholesome manner (and therefore a common best practice), trends within the industry would indicate otherwise.

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Traci's Tidbits Food and Beverage

Audit Expectations and Trends in the Food and Beverage Industry [Podcast]

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Mar 29, 2016 / by Traci Slowinski

I recently attended a food safety conference where I presented on the topic of 3rd party audits, specifically around expectations and trends in supplier audit programs. As I was preparing for my session, I decided that it wouldn’t make sense to only talk about supplier audits since most everyone in the audience could be considered both a customer and a supplier within the food supply chain. And we have all been dealing with the increasing burden of audit requirements. Whether we are talking about GFSI or ISO, customer due diligence, supplier verification or now FSMA, having a comprehensive audit management program is a necessary component of your Food Safety Management System (FSMS).

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Traci's Tidbits Food and Beverage

Food Litigation: Where Does FSMA Fit In? [Podcast]

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Feb 23, 2016 / by Traci Slowinski

 I recently had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Food Litigation ExecuSummit where I met with a group of people I hadn’t had much interaction with in the past—food law/litigation and food liability insurance professionals. Yes, I’ve worked with my in-house legal group during my various Food Safety and Quality Assurance (FSQA) positions to ensure that documents going out to external sources were properly worded and conveyed an appropriate message. And I’ve worked with insurance partners when dealing with employee and customer health and safety incidents. But never had I been in a room with dozens of legal professionals solely focused on learning more about food safety and how to deal with the changing industry trends and regulations. It was an educational experience for me and I hope that the group was able to learn a bit more about the industry from me as I shared some amusing (and sometimes alarming) stories from my FSQA experiences.

I would like to share with you some of the key takeaways from the conference.

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Traci's Tidbits Food and Beverage

Recall Management: How to Plan for the Worst [Podcast]

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Jan 26, 2016 / by Traci Slowinski

Allergen mislabeling, Salmonella in cucumbers, Listeria in ice cream…the list of food recalls is endless and we are bombarded by recall alerts almost every day. As a food and beverage business, it is critical that you are employing risk-based preventive controls to avoid any potential for a recall. But, as those of us in this business know, sometimes something slips through the cracks and recall becomes a necessary evil. Therefore, it is important to ensure you are prepared in the event of a recall. You will want to start by developing a comprehensive recall program.

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Traci's Tidbits Food and Beverage

A Formula for Food Safety: HARPC = CCP + PRP + OPRP [Podcast]

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Dec 29, 2015 / by Traci Slowinski

There continue to be many questions around Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC) and how a company’s food safety program will need to change to meet the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements. Through FSMA, the FDA has basically stated that Prerequisite Program (PRPs) are now considered of equal importance as Critical Control Points (CCPs), clumping them all together and calling them preventive controls. PRPs can further be broken down to include Operational Prerequisite Programs (OPRPs). OPRPs are defined as a PRP that has a control measure that controls a significant hazard—ISO 22000 introduced the concept of OPRP. This is an important distinction as we’ve seen that most incidents today are a result of poor management of PRPs, rather than CCP failures.

So how does this tie into FSMA?

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Traci's Tidbits Food and Beverage

Food Fraud: How Safe Are We?

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Nov 24, 2015 / by Traci Slowinski

(FSMA: Protection Against Intentional Adulteration)

In keeping up the same theme as my last couple of blogs, I wanted to talk about another upcoming FSMA rule—focused mitigation strategies to protect against intentional adulteration. A very common example of intentional adulteration is food fraud. This proposed rule (which is in its final development stages) will require that both domestic and foreign facilities address vulnerable processes in their operations to prevent harmful acts to the supply chain. In other words, a food safety system will need to address intentional hazards from sources such as bioterrorism, acts by disgruntled employees, consumers, competitors and organizations or people out for economic gain.

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Traci's Tidbits Food and Beverage

FSMA: What’s Up Next (Hint…FSVP)

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Oct 27, 2015 / by Traci Slowinski

As October draws to close we have many things to look forward to—Halloween, bright fall colors, football season…and then next installment of FSMA requirements. The Produce Safety, Foreign Supplier Verification Program and Third Party Certification rules are all due to be sent to the publisher by Oct. 31, 2015. So what exactly do these rules mean?

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Traci's Tidbits Food and Beverage

Oh No…They’re Here! A Tale about Audit/Inspection Readiness [Plus Podcast on Preparing for FSMA]

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Sep 29, 2015 / by Traci Slowinski

I used to work for a popular family restaurant (you may have heard references to it in your favorite geek show). They have a great 3rd party audit program. Quarterly, unannounced visits from their auditor were meant to keep them on their toes and help identify any gaps that may be occurring within each location. Twice a year, a company QA person (namely me and my colleagues) would go out with the auditor to shadow them.

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Traci's Tidbits Food and Beverage

Good Sanitation—The Key to Pathogen Control [Podcast]

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Aug 25, 2015 / by Traci Slowinski

 

I recently participated in a webinar with a couple of industry colleagues where we discussed best practices for controlling Listeria.  We have seen a number of Listeria recalls recently.  It has been showing up in the usual suspects but also products that we used to think as being exempt from Listeria propagation—ice cream, caramel apples, jerky, etc. A key message was you need to have a comprehensive Sanitation Program to ensure you are eliminating any pathogen introduction and propagation concerns. A Sanitation Program should be a part of your Prerequisite Programs and will also be an area to focus on as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC) come into play.

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Traci's Tidbits Food and Beverage

Environmental Monitoring 101 (Podcast)

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Jul 28, 2015 / by Traci Slowinski

Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli related recalls, USDA ready to eat (RTE) requirements, the new upcoming FSMA proposals—it is becoming clear that all food and beverage businesses need to have an effective Environmental Monitoring program. Pathogen Environmental Monitoring (PEM) programs are often considered a prerequisite program within your HACCP plan. Basically it helps to verify that your sanitation and cross-contamination prevention efforts are effective. It can help to identify and locate any pathogenic hazards within your facility. Once identified, you can put a plan in place to mitigate this risk. While the ultimate goal is to keep foodborne pathogens out of your facility and out of your product, we know this can be very challenging. Therefore, implementing a PEM program in order to find any rogue pathogens hiding out in your facility is critical to your food safety program. So, what makes up a good PEM program?

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Traci's Tidbits Food and Beverage

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