Check out the 2022 February/March edition of Food Safety Magazine featuring a look at the coalescing concerns of COVID-19, the food supply, and cybersecurity, controlling marine biotoxins for molluscan shellfish, the anatomy of food allergen recalls, the nexus of food safety and employee safety, using lean tools to transform your food safety culture and much more!
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically disrupted the food supply. This article seeks to explain the transcendent lessons of this national emergency, with the hope that being aware of them will help national decision-makers better prepare for next time. Our food systems, like the larger supply chain, will be challenged in the future with new kinds of disruptions, making it essential that mistakes are not repeated and that proactive, correct solutions are discovered and preparations made now.
Class 1 recalls are defined as situations where there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a food product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans. Residues of most of the so-called "Big 8" (and soon-to-be "Big 9," with the recent addition of sesame seeds) allergenic foods are considered as a basis for Class 1 recalls. While food allergen recalls are unwelcome, potentially valuable lessons can be learned from these unfortunate events. Good manufacturing practices (GMPs) have evolved from corrective actions taken to prevent allergen recalls.
This article gives a comparison of food safety/quality needs with employee safety during production, using the chemical application of peracetic acid to control environmental biological contamination as the example. It also examines how to better encourage collaboration between food safety and employee safety, using the hierarchy of controls as the guide.
This article addresses the sources, risk, and management of marine biotoxins found in molluscan shellfish and methods to identify contaminated shellfish meat before marketing. The authors also present an update to the online learning module developed to provide current National Shellfish Sanitation Program marine biotoxin management requirements for molluscan shellfish intended for interstate commerce.
This article provides an overview of the status of the rules and regulations regarding nutritional labeling of food packaged at the global level and its impact on consumers' understanding. New and consumer-friendly proposed solutions (e.g., Nutri-Score, also known as the five-color nutrition label) are also presented.
Understanding the types of violations observed during inspections is a requirement for correctly citing a violation and providing quality feedback to the facility operator. Breakdowns in this chain of communication can lead to additional inspections and possible enforcement actions, which waste valuable time, money, and effort. To ensure that this chain is firm, inspectors are provided with access to training and continuing education, as needed, to properly identify violations and apply their guiding regulations.
Today's food laboratories remain largely free of regulatory oversight. That is about to change with the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) issuance of a final rule establishing a program for the testing of food, in certain circumstances, by accredited laboratories. Not only does this final rule provide specific quality standards and assurances to a segment of food testing, but it also opens the door for all laboratories to adhere to these essential elements.
The authors and collaborating food safety experts have identified four predominant features around food safety culture in European cultures. These features include mixed attitudes toward the adoption of new ideas as food safety management changes, active engagement in food safety and quality, consensual decision-making, and a prevailing dependence on internal drive (as opposed to regulatory dictation) in fostering food safety culture.
This column will expand on the findings of the FDA study of the economic evaluation of the GenomeTrakr whole genome sequencing (WGS) program, adding data on the use of sequencing and how it will continue to change food safety practices and markets. It will also discuss what FDA is doing with GenomeTrackr to uncover previously unseen outbreaks and how this is keeping pressure on processors to expand environmental monitoring and controls.