The U.S. FDA releases its Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG) to help smaller food facilities meet their registration requirements under the FD&C Act. The FD&C Act requires food facilities engaged in manufacturing/processing, packing, or holding of food for human or animal consumption in the U.S. to register with the FDA. The SECG explains what kinds of facilities must register, when, and how while also explaining the consequences to those who fail to register, when FDA can suspend a facility’s registration, and the impact of a suspension order on a facility. The SECG is in accordance with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.
FDA also launches the new Substances Added to Food inventory, an upgraded version of the original Everything Added to Food in the U. S. inventory. The new inventory includes 4,000 substances while providing information on food and color additives and prior-sanctioned substances. Other new features include a search function tool that allows users to find out food ingredients and packaging inventories, direct links to applicable regulations for specific substances, and additional information such as other known names, common uses, and information by other entities when available. It’s important to note that this inventory is only a partial list of food ingredients and the inventory of information from non-FDA entities does not include an FDA approval or evaluation of the usage.
In addition, FDA’s new Export Listing Module (ELM) is an electronic portal for getting and processing requests from establishments that seek to be included on all export lists for FDA-regulated food products. For certain exported food products, some foreign food safety authorities require FDA to provide publicly available lists of exporters eligible to ship products to that country. This expanded module improves FDA’s ability to efficiently process establishments’ requests to be added to the lists, monitor listed companies, and generate updates for foreign regulatory agencies.
A New AFDO and Industry Vision
The AFDO 122nd Annual Education Conference recently wrapped up in South Burlington, Vt., serving as a springboard for a new initiative, creating change through a shared vision with food industry representatives. The “Partners with a Common Purpose” initiative recognizes a common purpose embraced and supported by both government regulators and industry alike in improving public health and consumer services. The concept of “Partners with a Common Purpose” extends beyond individual stakeholder interests; rather, it aims to drive successful collaboration and innovation by establishing equal partnership at meetings and forums to allow greater input toward continuously improving the safety of the food supply and public health. To become involved or learn more, provide contact information via registration link.
Food Quality & Safety magazine honors Ohio-based Forbes Chocolate, a provider of cocoa and flavor powders, with the 17th annual Award. This prestigious honor recognizes the dedication and achievement of an organization that has made significant improvements in its safety and quality assurance programs. The company places great emphasis on using new technologies, updating equipment, and instilling ongoing employee training to stay at the forefront of manufacturing. Its SQF certification also underscores the company’s development and implementation of strong food safety and quality management systems. For the complete story behind the success of Forbes Chocolate, read the in-depth profile scheduled to appear in the October/November 2018 issue.
As reported by Reuters, lawmakers in France say the country should appoint a “food safety police” and increase fines on those who sell contaminated products to avoid a repeat of the Salmonella outbreak at a Lactalis milk factory last year that led to dozens of babies falling ill. Lactalis, the world’s largest dairy group, had to recall more than 12 million tins of baby milk in France and around the world due to the outbreak. France’s National Assembly launched a special inquiry into the scandal. In their findings, lawmakers recommended tougher judicial and financial sanctions against food makers. “Those who do not play by the rules must suffer the consequences: criminal and financial sanctions that will be much more important than the current ones,” said Gregory Besson-Moreau, head of the committee. He also suggested imposing a fee on food producers to finance state-run inspections, something that has been allowed by the EU. This could raise 270 million euros per year, and lead to the creation of 800 jobs in a new “food safety police” reporting to the farm minister.