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Webinar – Effective Use of Validation and Verification to Improve your Food Safety Management System

John Surak will present a webinar for ComplianceOnline – October 24.

This webinar will cover strategies to effectively use the proper validation and verification techniques to increase the effectiveness of a FSMS. It will show how any food or pharmaceutical company can properly use these techniques to ensure compliance with either ISO 22000 or ISO 9001.

Process Control and the Food Safety Modernization Act

We have now had about 6 months to study the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This time has allowed some of the dust to settle. There are several more interesting parts to the act. One part includes the use of the word “verification,” which is mentioned 16 times. The big question is: How will the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) define verification for interpretation of the regulations? Verification can be defined in several ways.  The new regulations will require verification that the food safety system is working effectively. Finished product testing and environmental testing will be included in the verification process. These verification activities must be recorded, and the records must be made available to FDA upon request.

Read article in Food Safety

How Should Packaging Be Addressed in Your Food Safety Program?

The role of packaging in food safety systems and audits seems to be a current front and center issue.  This is probably the result of  food processers working down the list to packaging venders during the last year as they work through their supply chain and what they need for their own GFSI audits.

Rick Stier has contributed to the discussion with his article in the April/May issue of Food Safety Magazine, “How Should Packaging Be Addressed in your Food Safety Program?”   A good comprehensive and pragmatic article.

Convergence – Industry Standards and Government Regulations

“The Food Safety Modernization Act’s preventive approach to food safety may seem obvious in hindsight – and it is already a food industry norm, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods said on Thursday.” Food Navigator 20-May-2011

Industry standards (ISO 22000, GFSI) and government regulations such as the Food Safety Modernization Act all have at their core an auditable HACCP-based Food Safety Management system. Much of the kvetching about FSMA in the popular press has missed the point that the convergence of regulation and good industry practice is a done deal and that all parties recognize that “science based” systems are the best way to maximize food safety.
You can view a summary of our webinars on this topic at http://bit.ly/jiUR8t .

FDA ‘Strategic Priorities 2011 – 2015’

The FDA released its strategic plan for 2011 to 2015 with an emphasis on international food safety programs. The link and the text of the release are below:


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today released the final version of a strategic priorities document outlining the goals that will guide the agency and its 12,000 employees through 2015.

“It’s no secret that the FDA’s responsibilities have increased significantly over the past several years,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “We must continue to build a stronger, more effective agency and, as this document outlines, do so in several specific ways.” Titled “Strategic Priorities 2011 – 2015: Responding to the Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century,” the 50-page document provides a vision of the FDA that includes:

  • a modernized field of regulatory science that draws on innovations in science and technology to help ensure the safety and effectiveness of medical products throughout their life cycles
  • an integrated global food safety system focused on prevention and improved nutrition
  • expanded efforts to meet the needs of special populations.

“Today, it is clear that the FDA’s job is fundamentally different – and far more complex than it was even a few years ago,” Hamburg said. “We will address these challenges and aim to fulfill our mission by embracing innovation and actively pursuing partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies, international authorities, academia, non-government organizations, and the private sector.”

The FDA commissioner added that she would continue to act as an advocate for advancing the field of regulatory science and innovation, one of five cross-cutting areas that serve as strategic priorities at the agency over the next five years. “Science underlies everything we do,” Hamburg said. “To serve the public health, we must have the capacity to effectively oversee the translation of breakthrough discoveries in science into innovative, safe, and effective products and life-saving therapies.” Senior staff from the FDA’s seven product and research centers and two major offices contributed to the document.

A Federal Register notice that invited public comment in October 2010 generated more than 200 comments and the final document includes that input. The FDA’s “Strategic Priorities 2011 – 2015: Responding to the Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century,” contains four sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Cross-Cutting Strategic Priorities
  3. Strategic Goals and Long-Term Objectives
  4. Implementation

 View PDF of full document

Webinar – The Impact of New Regulations and Standards on Packaging Traceability

Consumer, commercial and regulatory concerns require an effective track and trace system for all food products. On April 28, David Miller, President, Operations Technologies, will present an overview of the requirements and solutions for food packaging traceability.

Supply chain traceability links the physical flow of products with the flow of information about them.  All items must be uniquely identified and the information made available to all supply chain partners. Successful traceability depends on the design and production of packaging coupled with effective data collection and reporting systems. Mr. Miller will discuss:Dave Miller

  • Industry standards such as GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and mpXML
  • Impact of new regulations including the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
  • Technology overview
    • Labeling
    • Data collection
    • Data management and exchange including internet based systems
    • Operational implications and capital and operating costs including consumables

Mr. Miller will present “The Impact of New Regulations and Standards on Packaging Traceability” on Thursday, April 28 at 11AM Pacific, 2PM Eastern time. Register at: http://www.nwasoft.com/PACKwebinar2.htm .

About David Miller

David Miller is the president and founder of Operations Technologies and its Mobia subsidiary. He is an industry recognized expert in technology, inventory management, and traceability and an internationally recognized expert on food traceability. He has been asked to speak before the US Congress, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI), American Butter Institute (ABI), American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), and American Food Safety Institute (AFSI).

 He is an “Inc 500” award winner and has degrees in Math and Computer Science from Georgia Tech and Armstrong Universities.

Food Safety Audits for Food Container Manufacturers- Recorded Webinar

Major food retailers require food processors to certify their food safety management systems under Global Food Safety Initiative recognized audits. This increasingly has led food processors to extend food safety audit demands to their vendors and require their packaging suppliers to demonstrate viable audited HACCP programs.

How can packaging vendors comply? On March 29, Allen Sayler, VP of Food Safety, Technology & Regulatory Solutions at H. Randolph Associates, Inc.,  discussed GFSI audit schemas and SQF in particular as they pertain to plastic and paperboard food container manufacturing. The presentation topics include:

  • HACCP – Applicability to the Food Packaging Industry
  • GFSI – Concept for the Future
  • SQF
    • The Whys for the Food Packaging Industry
    • Technical Implementation Details for the Food Packaging Industry
    • Food Safety – Due Diligence for the Food Packaging Industry

The slides and the recorded presentation are available at: http://www.nwasoft.com/PACKwebinar1.htm .