Plasma: Hightech for Food Safety

eFOODLab_International_03_2014

lines in the table above, on Friday, September 19th, 2014 FDA alerted many parties that they would be publishing “Supplementals” to four (4) of the seven (7) FSMA regulations. The best way to understand this is to think of these four (4) “Supplementals” as amendments to the originally-published FSMA regulations. Above is a summary of these amendments, which appear to take a more common-sense approach to regulating the food processing industry and yet maintain a high standard of food safety, which is what US consumers, Congress, the President and others expect and demand. The comment period for these amendments will be open starting October 1, 2014 and close on December 15, 2014. Mike Taylor, the senior official at US FDA that has primary responsibility for getting FSMA and all of its parts up and running stated last Friday that these newly published “Supplementals” will not affect the overall deadlines for finalization of all seven (7) regulations (see the table above). In summary, both US-based and non-US based food processors need to become familiar with the seven (7) proposed regulations of FSMA and the recently published proposed changes (Supplementals) as soon as possible in order to conduct an internal review of their food safety programs and identify gaps. These gaps need to be translated into numbers, with these number representing the amount of manpower and Euros needed to ensure that when 2016 comes and US FDA starts enforcing these wide-ranging new regulatory requirements, your plant does not become one of the first Plasma: Hightech for Food Safety 20 3/14 eFOOD-Lab international victims of US FDA’s enforcement of the FSMA requirements.. One of the first steps to take after the gap assessment is to ensure your plant’s training budget is adequate to support training all employees on these new requirements. Since FSMA is an SPS issue under the World Trade Organization (WTO), it is unlikely that a WTO challenge would provide a path to bypass compliance with FSMA since it is equally applicable to all food processors, domestic and foreign. Some food plants have already started the journey toward FSMA, improving their operational programs and capital expenditures to address the proposed FSMA regulations. Other plants are taking a “wait and see” approach. Either way, fiscal managers responsible for plant budgets need to build increases into the capital, operational and training budgets in order to ensure that their plant achieve FSMA compliance and avoid FDA enforcement action. The author, Allen R. Sayler is managing partner for the Center for Food Safety and Regulatory Solutions (CFSRS) located just outside of Washington, DC. He spent sixteen (16) years as a US state, FDA and USDA regulator and has spent the last sixteen (16) years as a food processing industry consultant and advocate on food safety and government regulatory matters. For additional information on FSMA’s remaining regulations and their potential impact on your plant, contact Mr. Sayler at asayler@cfsrs.com and review the CFSRS website www.cfsrs.com. Low Temperature-Atmospheric Pressure Plasma - A Promising Process for the Inactivation of Microorganisms on Food Surfaces Our Authors: Kai Reinekea (left photo), Christian Hertwiga, Jörg Ehlbeckb, Oliver Schlütera (right photo) a Quality and Safety of Food and Feed, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering (ATB), Potsdam, Germany b Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP), Greifswald, Germany Low temperature atmospheric plasma is an innovative technology used to treat or clean heat sensitive surfaces, e.g. in medical engineering or material manufacturing, but it is also used for illumination or in plasma televisions (Ehlbeck et al., 2011). Since a direct plasma application mainly affects the surface of the treated material and the plasma itself contains a lot of antimicrobial species (Knorr et al., 2011), it may allow a gentle decontamination of heat sensitive food products, like herbs and spices or even fresh produce or meat. However, plasma technologies in food processing are not yet established, but investigations using Innovative Processi ng Tech nolo gies Qualit y Management


eFOODLab_International_03_2014
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