The guidelines also provide uniform testing and surveillance practices to ensure the quality and food safety of a company’s sanitation processes. The practices include: quality control, systems check log, titration log, surface swab tests, process validation, and preoperational environmental inspection release. The RPA recommends that testing occur hourly, daily, monthly, and quarterly in order to record and monitor a statistically significant sample size representative of the entire production.
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Suppliers of the reusable containers should adhere to HACCP procedures to control biological, chemical, and physical hazards in the production process. It is further recommended that companies maintain a trained and qualified individual to monitor compliance with the HACCP program.
What’s Next for the RPA Guidelines?
The reusable packaging industry takes food safety very seriously, striving to incorporate the most advanced systems and technologies to deliver on this requirement and to instill the full confidence behind these products based on past record and today’s performance. Food safety is not a competitive issue, and members of the RPA will work together in a culture of continuous improvement on the industry’s recommended best practices. RPA will monitor developments in research, advancements in cleaning equipment and tools for optimum effects, and extend partnerships across the supply chain to achieve maximum exposure and compliance to the best practices.
The safe use of reusable containers depends upon the diligent efforts and food safety commitment of all parties throughout the distribution chain. RPA encourages all members of the supply chain involved to implement the recommendations and guidelines in order to continue the safe production and handling of foods in reusable containers.
Debus is president and CEO of Reusable Packaging Association. Reach him at email@example.com.