All the buzz about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has led to some familiar approaches to meeting these new standards. In fact, FSMA implementation checklists have been created by dozens of consultants to help provide a clear path to compliance.
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Explore this issueAugust/September 2016
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It’s common knowledge that a qualified individual must be trained, knowledgeable, and accountable for the “new” food safety plan. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) documents need to be dusted off and re-assessed to include radiological hazards, environmental pathogens, pesticides, drug residues, and natural toxins, to name a few. Consideration must also include hazards that occur naturally, those that may be introduced into our operations unintentionally, as well as those introduced intentionally.
Once critical hazards are in sight, preventive controls need to be identified and implemented—strategies that assure risks will be mitigated. All this seems to provide a clear path to FSMA success…or does it?
If FSMA was the only regulation to contend with, this check-the-box approach might easily guide everyone. However, the reality is that food industry operations are more complex and demanding than ever. The Washington Examiner reported that the pace of agencies issuing new rules and regulations has hit a record high—21,000 new regulations have been introduced during the eight years of President Obama’s administration alone. Yet food companies’ business challenges go far beyond regulations. Equipment has become more complex, customer expectations more exacting, ingredient sourcing is now multifarious, and frontline workers are more diverse. The list goes on.