April 30th through May 2nd may be a few days worth paying attention to if food safety is on your mind. The Food Safety Summit Expo & Conference will be held this year at the Baltimore Convention Center. The 2013 program offers numerous talks, panels, presentations, displays, and training sessions focused on food safety.
This year’s keynote address will come from Will Daniels, Sr. Vice President, Operations and Organic Integrity of Earthbound Farm, and will take on the issue of facilitating collaboration between academic institutions, businesses, and governmental interests. Panels will focus on a host of topics including: traceability, social media, allergen control, liability issues, addressing Listeria, amongst many other concerns. In the Exhibition Hall various exhibitors and exhibitor showcases will be featured May 1st through the 2nd. Training sessions this year include HACCP training, ServSafe® certification, and a chance to check out the new Food Defense Plan Builder by the FDA.
For a full conference brochure click here. For registration and packages available click here.
The Food Safety Modernization Act continues to spur discussion and debate among various interests. Recently, results on several trials concerning product tracing in the food supply were released by the FDA. The FDA utilized numerous different stakeholders, including several private sector firms that volunteered for the process. This initial round of tracing activities was focused on foods associated with foodborne illness, including tomatoes as well as: “chicken/peanuts/spices in processed foods.”
The findings potentially have the ability to change the way that the FDA conducts investigations, and it could: “affect how industry interacts with the Agency to provide product tracing information.” Public comment is welcome at this point on the findings. At this juncture the following recommendations have been made as presented below, in the “Executive Summary” (and can be accessed, along with the entire final report here):
- “ From an overarching perspective, IFT recommends that FDA establish a uniform set of recordkeeping requirements for all FDA-regulated foods and not permit exemptions to recordkeeping requirements based on risk classification.
- FDA should require firms that manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, hold, or import food to identify and maintain records of CTEs and KDEs as determined by FDA.
- Each member of the food supply chain should be required to develop, document, and exercise a product tracing plan.
- FDA should encourage current industry-led initiatives and issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking or use other similar mechanisms to seek stakeholder input.
- FDA should clearly and more consistently articulate and communicate to industry the information it needs to conduct product tracing investigations.
- FDA should develop standardized electronic mechanisms for the reporting and acquiring of CTEs and KDEs during product tracing investigations.
- FDA should accept summarized CTE and KDE data that are submitted through standardized reporting mechanisms and initiate investigations based on such data.
- If available, FDA should request more than one level of tracing data.
- FDA should consider adopting a technology platform that would allow efficient aggregation and analysis of data submitted in response to a request from regulatory officials. The technology platform should be accessible to other regulatory entities.
- FDA should coordinate traceback investigations and develop response protocols between state and local health and regulatory agencies, using existing commissioning and credentialing processes. In addition, FDA should formalize the use of industry subject matter experts in product tracing investigations.”
To find out how to comment on the report or on the above recommendations visit this site.
EPDM is the standard elastomer on many pumps and valves and is not compatible with petroleum-based products. Using lubricants such as the popular Petro-Gel in these applications is not a good choice as it will degrade your equipment elastomers and decrease the life of your parts.
Due to the high melting point, Petro-Gel and similar non-CIP lubricants have the potential to contaminate your product with bacteria such as Listeria. Petro-Gel has a melting point of 190°F, and typical CIP cycles are only 160-180°F, meaning the residue will not melt and clean away. If a spare part somehow came in contact with bacteria, the high melting point of these non-CIP lubricants would function to protect the bacteria during the CIP cycle and could contaminate your products!
To lubricate your EPDM pump and valve parts, use Haynes or McGlaughlin CIP films (312-2020 or 435-2005). With melting points of 120°F, they will wash away completely during your CIP cycle.