Guidance for Responding to Customer Complaints
USDA’s FSIS releases a best practices guideline to help the meat and poultry industry respond to customer complaints that are associated with adulterated or misbranded meat and poultry products. “FSIS has placed renewed emphasis on industry responding to customer complaints of foreign materials in meat and poultry and, as required, reporting those incidents to the agency within 24 hours once the determination has been made that the product is adulterated,” says Carmen Rottenberg, FSIS administrator. In 2012, FSIS announced a regulation requiring all establishments to report to the agency within 24 hours when they have shipped or received an adulterated product and that product is in commerce. While this requirement has been in effect for several years, recalls associated with foreign materials have recently been increasing. While FSIS specifically developed its guidance to address foreign material customer complaints, establishments can use the information for other complaints of adulterated or misbranded products. Access the draft guideline here.
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Preventive Controls for Breweries
The Brewers Association is developing a resource to assist craft brewers of all sizes to establish effective food safety preventive controls in all aspects of their brewery operations. The goal is to create a resource that will serve as the accepted “industry standard” addressing the implementation of a comprehensive preventive control program in breweries. Comprehensive guidance to implement preventive controls is not applicable to the unique processes used in brewing and fermenting beer. In most cases, implementation of preventive controls for human food is not a mandated regulatory requirement for producers of alcoholic beverages. However, not only are brewers increasingly required by their customers to have food safety plans in place as a condition of doing business, it is recognized that brewers need more guidance in how and why they should take steps to protect the consumer. The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2019.
Climate Change Could Make Food Less Safe
As reported by Reuters, officials and researchers are advising governments to pay more attention to food safety as the planet warms and to address the issue in their action plans to tackle climate change. Climate change and the globalization of food production, coupled with a rising world population and increasing urbanization, pose new challenges to food safety, says the World Health Organization. “It is known that temperature increase as a result of greenhouse gas emissions may increase food contamination and foodborne diseases,” according to Cristina Tirado-von der Pahlen, director of international climate initiatives at California’s Loyola Marymount University. But her research found that only three countries mentioned food safety in their national action plans for adapting to climate change, prepared under U.N. negotiations.
Kestrel Management forms an alliance with Ultra Consultants to provide food safety compliance and remediation advisory services to North American food and beverage processors.
Hyland Levin LLP launches its Food and Beverage Law Group.
GFSI forms a Local Group in Australia and New Zealand, named GFSI AusNZ, as part of its regional outreach model.
Aquionics enters into a partnership agreement with Valcour Process Technologies for distributing its UV disinfection systems to cheese producers in the upper Midwest.
Wheatsheaf Group Limited acquires 90% of Purfresh, a provider of specialized controlled atmosphere systems that reduce cargo loss through spoilage in refrigerated ocean shipping containers.
The Food Laboratory Alliance adds AOAC International to its coalition of organizations devoted to the safety of the nation’s food supply and the quality of food laboratory testing.
ReposiTrak completes its Service Organization Control 1 and 2 Type 2 annual audit recertifications, a verification standard defined by Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.