The key to FSMA implementation: training

Dive Brief:

  • Food Manufacturing has released tips on five major areas companies should focus on when assessing a plant’s food safety risks.
  • Separation of allergens is an especially important risk to keep an eye on, and should be a priority at every stage of the supply chain, according to Food Manufacturing. A company’s staff should also be following best practices when handling allergen-free foods.
  • Other areas to concentrate on include food-safe surfaces and materials, air pressure and flow, plant personnel and packing.

Dive Insight:

Manufacturers should devote a great deal of time and resources to food safety measures, as there is no higher priority than ensuring consumer protection. Therefore, there must be ample opportunity for all members of the food supply chain to evaluate the effectiveness of their traceability programs.

In the past few years, companies have done well with implementing the guidelines in the Food Safety Modernization Act. President Obama signed the sweeping law, designed to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it, in 2011. 

Manufacturers have taken FSMA seriously and have already made big industry changes. For example, the floors of a facility play a crucial role in addressing contamination risks in any building, as a dirty floor can become a prime site of bacteria build-up. As a result, there’s been a large increase in high performance flooring systems installed in places where consumable food and beverage products are produced, processed, packaged or stored.

Perhaps the most important part of the food safety equation rests on the employees who work for a company. Food safety checklists have become the norm for most food companies and regular training — including mock drills — have helped workers be aware of and stay on top of any potential problems.

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Filed Under: Manufacturing Food Safety Policy