“Food safety becomes very important when there’s an outbreak. The challenge is how you make it important in the absence of an outbreak,” Powell tells Food Quality & Safety. “The FDA sets minimum standards for the food service industry, restaurants, and others to follow. But the best companies go above and beyond those standards and should brag about doing so. Companies should hold themselves to higher standards because if they don’t, they will get sued.”
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Explore This IssueAugust/September 2014
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Dr. Acheson is concerned that FDA inspectors may know less about the rules than food manufacturers and growers. While FDA plans to focus on education, “many of its inspectors are not wired to be educators; they are regulators and don’t have the personality or skill set to be educators,” he says. He foresees situations where an inspector says something needs to be done a certain way but the company disagrees. “We will end up with potentially awkward situations where the food company says it knows it’s doing things the right way and the regulator disagrees, but is wrong. It’s going to get a little tricky.”
Agres is based in Laurel, Md. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.