Tag Archives: FSMA

Going Worldwide in Food Safety Certification

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Source: SQF Institute

One of our top priorities is ensuring the products we transport and store are safe and meet food safety requirements. We are happy to report that Nelson-Jameson, Inc. received a score of 98% on our latest Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program Certification audit in September. More recently, last month, Sector 26 met Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Benchmarking – which means the sector is now recognized and accepted worldwide.

SQF Certification is recognized by GFSI, which links primary production certification to food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management certification. As a distribution facility, the SQF Certification benefits are the following:

  • Compliance – The requirements in the SQF code meet and often exceed many international food safety regulatory rules, including the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed rules.
  • Confidence SQF is a food safety system that can help protect  brands and consumers with one of the most rigorous, globally recognized programs and state of the art data management system.
  • Global Recognition – a program recognized by the GFSI and food retailers worldwide.
  • Enhanced Protection – The SQF program provides  data and information that has integrity, consistency, and provides a higher level of credibility than other schemes.
  • Quality Management – The SQF program includes a level of certification specifically focused on product quality and the maintenance of private label specifications at the manufacturing level.
  • Reduced Product Loss – The SQF systems approach to specification management will help improve operational efficiency.

Stay tuned to our blog for more updates on food safety regulations and how we are implementing policies and procedures to keep our products and consumers safe.

 

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Keeping it Clean with FSMA

j0444789A large part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) focuses on prevention when it comes to controlling our food supply. The steps to preventing foodborne diseases, according to FDA, on the part of the manufacturer, involve evaluating the hazards, specifying preventative steps, monitoring, and correcting problems that may arise.

An aid in reducing hazards is disinfection, cleaning and sanitation. Food Quality & Safety published an article in November 2013, titled “Keep It Clean” that takes a deeper look at the role of disinfectants and sanitizing solutions in FSMA implementation. While there are a few different methods of disinfection, we provide products for chemical disinfection:

Chlorine Sanitizers

Iodine Sanitizers

Quaternary Ammonium (QUATS)

Once a surface has been disinfected, verification will need to take place, which takes care of the monitoring part. A method of verification used prior to sanitation mentioned in the article is adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence. Our Laboratory & QA/QC product line offers a variety of items that can aid in verification: 3M™ Clean-Trace™ NG Luminometer3M™ Clean-Trace™ Surface ATP Test.

According to the article, ATP does not correlate with micro counts, therefore swabbing and the use of petrifilm is recommended. We feature the following items for swabbing and petrifilm: 3M™ Petrifilm™ Plates & Accessories3M™ Quick Swabs3M™ Hydra-Sponges, and 3M™ Sponge-Sticks.

We are a team when it comes to food safety, you can count on Nelson-Jameson to provide quality products that aid in FSMA implementation. For more information on FSMA, see the FDA website.

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The Food Safety Modernization Act: Para Todo el Mundo!

globeWe’re in it together; all of us in the food industry are making sense of and getting used to the continuing change brought forth by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Now, the process can be even more inclusive. The FDA has launched a “Translations of Key FSMA Resources” site. Various “About” documents and “Rules” are available in several languages including Spanish and numerous others (depending on the document).  You can also check out some key “Speeches and Statements” and a “For Consumers” section.

Obviously, the FSMA truly has a global scope thanks to import standards established for the U.S. Domestically, the documents better represent and speak to the vast array of people and backgrounds that are represented in the total population touched by the Act’s reach. You can check out this cadre of resources aimed to meet the increasing demand for background and knowledge about the FSMA amongst a diversity of groups both here and abroad by clicking on this link.

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Checking the Checkers

MC900434929The new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires registered food companies (including Nelson-Jameson, Inc. as a “holder and transporter” of food) to develop risk-based food safety plans. Included in this plan for food processors must be critical control points (CCPs), where known hazards related to raw materials and finished products are controlled.

For example, brine used to preserve a ham must contain sufficient salt, sugar and other dissolved ingredients to lower water activity and prevent growth of pathogens. Other control points include pH, allergen prevention, temperature (both processing and storage), among others.

Each of these control points are monitored in “real time” by some means, often with a continuous recording device or hand-held monitoring system. In today’s world of third party audits, Safe Quality Food Institute (SQF), and British Retail Consortium (BRC), certifications these measures to assure food safety are not enough. The instruments, and even some procedures, relied on to assure safe production processes must be checked using reliable instruments and standards, often traceable to National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) or other certifying bodies. This need to “check the checker” became the theme of our exhibit at the American Association of Meat Processors Convention this year. Interest was excellent and we intend to continue offering products in this context at other trade show venues throughout 2014.

For more information on Critical Control Points, visit our Learning Center or contact our Laboratory Products Department at 800-826-8302.

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Small Farmers: Proposed Rules on Produce Bring Many Questions

MH900406529What does the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) mean for small farmers? How and when will these standards and practices be implemented? Most pressing to many small farmers is the big question of, “What is this going to cost me?”

In terms of produce, the answers to this last question come in the details.

A piece from the AP cites: “The FDA estimates the cost of implementing the rules will be about $4,700 a year for very small farms, $13,000 for small farms and $30,500 for large farms. Size is determined by a farm’s annual business.”  Yet, before panic gets a chance to set in for readers out there that are small farmers, factor in that: “Farms selling less than $25,000 of produce annually and those selling directly to the public without going through a third party would be exempt. FDA estimates about 79 percent of all U.S. produce farms won’t have to comply.”

Details about economic parameters, along with details in countless other areas, are plentiful when it comes to the FSMA. For small farmers it will be necessary to figure out where they fit in and what changes will be needed in their operation to comply with new standards of food safety in the United States.

Thankfully, the FDA provides various resources to help small farmers determine their applicable roles and responsibilities. One very basic resource to consult can be found here on a “What You Need to Know” page. For further information and to sign up for FSMA email updates click here.

Knowing a bit about the details can go a long way in keeping your operation working smoothly. It can also provide a place to begin taking on major change in the food industry, with a bit more confidence in tow.

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