Food safety compliance

 
Food safety concerns from consumers and regulatory organizations have never been higher. It is more important than ever for engineers, sanitarians and plant managers to understand the proper equipment, plant, and process design that is fundamental to food safety. The American Bakers’ Association (ABA), along with other top food industry associations, is presenting a sanitary design workshop specifically for its members.
 
The Sanitary Design Workshop is a unique educational opportunity for anyone responsible for food safety in bakery facilities. Participants will come away with practical and proven approaches to cleaning, sanitary design, equipment layout, and personnel requirements that utilize verifiable, economically sound, and HACCP-supported processes. The workshop includes equipment design demonstrations using photos and prototypes, and the introduction of a process for continuous improvement.
 
Set for March 28-29 in Chicago, the workshop is geared for engineers, sanitarians and plant managers from equipment manufacturers, bakers, pasta makers and snack food producers – as well as other low moisture food producers. To learn more, visit americanbakers.org.
 

Third-Party Audits

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 6 issued important guidance for the food industry (including bakeries) titled, “Third-Party Certification Body Accreditation for Food Safety Audits: Model Accreditation Standards.” The final guidance contains FDA recommendations on third-party certification body qualifications for accreditation to conduct food safety audits and to issue food and facility certifications under the voluntary third-party certification program established under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). 
 
In November 2015, the FDA announced the implementing final rule “Accreditation of Third-Party Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications” that establishes a program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies to conduct food safety audits and to certify that foreign food facilities and food produced by such facilities meet applicable FDA food safety requirements. 
 
Record keeping is a key component of the guidance. A third-party certification body seeking accreditation must demonstrate that it has implemented written procedures to establish, control, and retain records (including documents and data) for a period of time necessary to meet its contractual and legal obligations and to provide an adequate basis for evaluating its program and performance.
 
The third-party certification body must have a written conflict of interest program.
 
Further, a third-party certification body’s written procedures should include procedures for the maintenance of current and accurate records relevant to the competence of its audit agents and others involved in certification activities.