The COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic that began in 2019 has impacted food safety, primarily in relation to facility sanitation, worker hygiene, personnel shortages and turnover, and ongoing supply chain disruptions.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reissued two temporary guidances originally published during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) for certain regulatory requirements that involve onsite visits abroad under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
With the COVID-19 pandemic’s classification as a Public Health Emergency comes to an end, temporary flexibilities granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to aid the food industry through the pandemic are set to expire. FDA has also issued a guidance for industry intended to help qualified exempt farms subject to the Produce Safety Rule with transitioning away from the temporary allowances.
Small food manufacturers, defined as those with less than 500 full-time employees, have experienced significant challenges to operate and supply food during the COVID-19 pandemic. To better support small manufacturers in Georgia, the University of Georgia Marine Extension and the Georgia Sea Grant conducted free, onsite COVID-19 assessments at seven seafood processing/distributing facilities through the first five months of 2021. Completed assessment reports and recommendations are summarized in this article. Manufacturers demonstrated remarkable adaptability to protect workers and avoid closing, despite supply shortages and continually changing public health guidance.
Small food manufacturers have experienced significant challenges to operate and supply food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Free, onsite COVID-19 assessments conducted at seven seafood processing/distributing facilities through the first five months of 2021 revealed manufacturers' remarkable adaptability to protect workers and avoid closing, despite supply shortages and continually changing public health guidance.
Advances in information technology, rapid advances in diagnostic sensitivity, and shifting regulatory requirements are changing the nature of food safety, while macroeconomic trends like globalization, competitive consolidation, and maturation of the industry are altering the structure of the markets. These trends are colliding with shorter-term disruptions like the economic recovery from COVID-19, inflation, and the war in Ukraine, making the near-term future difficult to see.
After conducting new research on the survival of the COVID-19 virus on food and food packaging, the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has determined that, while the likelihood of catching the virus from food varies by surface type, the risk is “very low” overall.
With the COVID-19 pandemic (hopefully) solidly in the rearview mirror, we wanted to find out what projects and initiatives food companies are focusing on for the rest of this year and into 2023. We heard from more than 200 food processors in every major category. They reported a wide-ranging wish list of projects and priorities, with improving their food safety culture, more training, improving their supply chain management (especially with their foreign suppliers), and improving their sanitation and environmental monitoring programs at the top of the list.