November Food Safety News Round-Up
The Latest in Food Safety Documentation News
This year has been filled with changes such as blended or remote audits, a new edition of SQF, and the "New Era of Food Safety" which continues to dominate the conversation.
To make staying up to date on all of the most important food safety news as it relates to documentation, legislation, or new standards, we've curated the top news of the month.
Below you will find some of the top headlines in the food safety industry as well as concise summaries reviewing each article.
Why You Should Care About The Difference Between Transparency And Traceability
Supply chain operations are needed to both support transparency and traceability. In terms of transparency, this means that there is a commitment to being honest and open during communication about your products.
Traceability shows verified tracking data that connects your product back to the location of each raw ingredient. Transparency is not only data collected and shared about the product itself but also social aspects like treatment of workers and sustainability efforts.
Traceability is a way to understand where your product came from and where it went. Consumers are wanting to be able to scan a QR code on the package and get information from where on a farm the raw ingredients were grown.
Read more from the BRC
7 Steps To Building Food Safety Culture From Scratch
Even though this article specifically addresses restaurant owners, its seven pillars to build a food safety culture apply to food manufacturing as well.
The seven pillars are (1) Senior leadership commitment and engagement, (2) Food Safety Communications, (3) Defined standards and procedures, (4) Training, (5) Key Performance Indicators/Scorecard, (6) Oversight program, and (7) Positive recognition.
These pillars are a great support to implement in your facility. It starts with management commitment and engagement, which is needed to sustain and support any other aspect of food safety culture. The next two pillars are ways to define and standardize all employees to the same rules and procedures. The next two are ways to track and address the important aspects of food safety in a way that everyone can see how the facility is doing.
Lastly, with recognition, it is important to invest in your employees and make sure that you use positive reinforcement so that the culture further integrates into the facility.
Read more from Fast Casual
Everything You Need To Know About GMO Labeling in 2021-2022
The government passed a national genetically Modified Foods (GMO) labeling law in 2017, to help standardize labeling for GMOs or BE (bioengineered) foods. The requirements were originally supposed to be implemented back in July 2018, but were extended and now food companies are to comply by January 1, 2022.
This new labeling law is not to indicate if a food is safe or not safe, but to provide information to the consumer. The labeling could look like the text on the packaging, the symbol that represents bioengineering, or a digital link that can be scanned and is linked to an information page.
Under this law, it requires that any product with 5% or more GMO ingredients be labeled. There are a few exceptions that include animal-derived food products (ie eggs), refined ingredients, food served at restaurants, small business food (ie local shops), and any non-food product.
Read more from Illinois Farm Families
The FDA's "New Era for Smarter Food Safety" and Tech-Enabled Traceability
Daria from Document Compliance Network summarizes what the FDA the "New Era for Smarter Food Safety" means. In addition, Daria reviews and explains the first core element as part of this initiative which focuses on tech-enabled traceability and how that would impact businesses, consumers, and the supply chain.
For me, the main takeaway is that traceability is going to utilize tech-enabled traceability software solutions to make a completely transparent supply chain.
Read more on The FDA's "New Era for Smarter Food Safety" and Tech-Enabled Traceability
Survey Supports The Continued Use of Remote Options for Audits
A poll was taken in August of 2021 on the views of virtual assessment techniques that were used during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. In total there were 4,320 responses from those that received remote audits, assessments, and evaluations. However, over 600 responses were given for respondents that did not have any experience with remote audits, assessments, or evaluation. There was also an option to indicate that you wanted a blended audit, which refers to a virtual and onsite audit combined.
The survey found a huge level of support for a continued remote or blended audit experience. One of the critiques is that the preparation for remote audits was more time-consuming than previous onsite ones. The companies that received the data from this poll want to consider steps in incorporating their findings into future documentation and processes.
Read more from Food Safety News
About The Author:
Daria Van De Grift is the Client Success Manager at Document Compliance Network. Daria handles customer service inquiries, software program set up, and creates relevant scientific content for the team.
Daria has received both her bachelor's and master's degrees in Food Science and Technology from Oregon State University.
Connect with Daria on Linkedin to keep up with up-to-date information about document compliance, quality assurance, and food safety culture, click here to connect on Linkedin.