Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Food Safety Modernization Act Means Changes for Producers, Processors

Published: Friday, April 26, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, April 26, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Proposed new Food and Drug Administration regulations developed under the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA, will affect how Pennsylvania farmers, processors and retailers operate.

But the devil is in the still-to-be-finalized details, and implementing the most sweeping changes to the nation's food-safety laws in more than 70 years will require collaboration, communication and education.

That was a common theme heard during testimony at a joint informational hearing before the state House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees, April 11 at the Capitol. The hearing was held as part of the Penn State Agricultural Council's spring delegate meeting.

About 48 million people -- one in six Americans -- get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die annually due to foodborne diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Food-safety experts believe these illnesses are largely preventable, and the new law for the first time gives the FDA the authority to require comprehensive, prevention-based controls across the food supply chain.

As part of its legislative mandate, the FDA in January published proposed rules for produce safety and for preventive controls in food manufacturing, which are the subject of a public comment period that ends May 16.

"Both (of these draft rules) have in common a new approach toward preventing foodborne illnesses," said Luke LaBorde, associate professor of food science in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

"Instead of solely relying on periodic visits from a state or federal inspector, food businesses are charged to take a preventative, instead of a reactive, approach," he told the legislators. "This means that growers and processors will be responsible for understanding potential risks in their operations and developing science-based measures to control those risks before a problem actually occurs."

LaBorde emphasized that a highly trained workforce is the best defense against food-safety and sanitation lapses, and the economic consequences that might result. "Education and training for all segments of the food industry is therefore of critical importance" in realizing the public-health goals of law, he said.

LaBorde testified that Penn State is well positioned to offer this type of training. He noted that the College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension have active and successful food-safety programs already in place that have trained thousands of produce growers, food processors and food-service workers.

As an example, he cited Penn State's leadership in developing research-based food-safety standards for the mushroom industry, known as mushroom good agricultural practices or MGAPs.

"Today, approximately 90 percent of the fresh mushrooms consumed in the United States have been grown on a farm that passed an MGAP third-party inspection," he said. "Mushroom growers therefore are more prepared than other produce groups to comply with the FDA produce-safety regulation."

According to LaBorde, the proposed preventive controls rule will necessitate more research and outreach related to a concept known as hazard analysis and critical control points -- often called HACCP (pronounced HASS-ip) -- which is another area in which Penn State offers science-based training and practical solutions.

"We anticipate that finalization of the preventive controls rule will greatly increase the demand for HACCP courses, in addition to requests for research studies to validate the effectiveness of process control measures as required under the proposed FDA regulations," he said.

LaBorde and Lydia Johnson, director of the Bureau of Food Safety in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, both testified that a new collaboration between the department and Penn State would play a key role in helping producers comply with the new regulations.

With budget constraints posing a potential obstacle to developing new programs, the collaboration will leverage expertise from both organizations to establish three agricultural resource centers to focus on issues surrounding food safety, animal care and plant health.

The Food Safety Resource Center, said LaBorde, will help proactively identify emerging food-safety issues and develop strategies to address them before they reach crisis levels; enhance coordination in responding to foodborne disease outbreaks and product recalls; guide food-safety policy issues to account for the unique characteristics of the state's food system; and assist the food industry in applying food-safety regulations and best practices.

Johnson pointed out that the state, under interagency agreements with the FDA, will help enforce the new regulations but also must educate food producers to help them comply. She said the new center will aid state personnel in that effort.

"(FMSA) is a significant document, and once it moves forward, we are tasked with having our staff become very well versed very quickly," she said. "(The center) gives us an opportunity for our regulators -- the people who will be part of these inspections -- to be trained and receive education. We want to be a bridge between FDA and our stakeholders."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,400+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Apricot Kernels Pose Risk of Cyanide Poisoning
Eating more than three small raw apricot kernels, or less than half of one large kernel, in a serving can exceed safe levels. Toddlers consuming even one small apricot kernel risk being over the safe level.
Soy Shows Promise as Natural Anti-Microbial Agent
Researchers from University of Guelph show that soy isoflavones and peptides could be used to reduce microbial contamination of food.
First DNA Vaccine in the EU Recommended for Use in Salmon
Clynav to protect Atlantic salmon from serious infectious disease.
Grant to Fund Million Peaks Project
The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a prestigious Advanced Grant to Prof. Peter Schoenmakers, Prof. Albert Polman and Prof. Huib Bakker, all three of whom work at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).
Finding Inorganic Arsenic in Foodstuffs
A new European standard method to determine the content of inorganic arsenic in foodstuffs has been developed at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.
Effective Identification of Low-Gliadin Wheat Lines
Researchers have demonstrated the use of NIRS to identify low-gliadin wheat lines.
Virus Causing Tilapia Die-Offs Identified
Discovery of the virus causing Tilapia die-offs in Israel and Ecuador points the way to protecting a fish that feeds multitudes.
Interactive Maps Reveal Global Obesity
World’s obese population hits 640 million, according to largest ever study.
Eating Green Could be in Your Genes
Genetic variation uncovered that has evolved in populations that have historically favored vegetarian diets, such as in India, Africa and parts of East Asia.
Detecting Bacterial Growth in Packaged Food
New technique enables fast, accurate and noninvasive measurement of bacteria levels.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!