Back To School With FSMA’s New Training Requirements

One of the mandates from the Food Safety Modernization Act is that food processing facility employees receive documented training. The reason behind the increased emphasis on training is that the U.S. FDA estimates up to 33 percent of all good manufacturing practice (GMP)-related recalls are as a result of inadequate employee training and education in food safety principles.

“The FDA is instructing food processing facilities to develop and deliver training and education programs focused on the new mandates regarding food safety and food hygiene,” says Tim Gallagher, director of strategic accounts for Sprague Pest Solutions. “This training will be required for plant staff from the production line to the C-suite.”

Who will provide this documented training within a facility? Gallagher anticipates most companies will turn to the person responsible for handling the facility’s third-party inspections and audits to serve as the lead trainer.

Under current FSMA rules covering good manufacturing practice and hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls for human food, the definition of a “qualified individual” (i.e. an employee receiving training) is as follows:  

“A qualified individual would be required to prepare the food safety plan, develop the hazard analysis, validate the preventive controls, review records and conduct a reanalysis of the food safety plan (or oversee these activities). To be qualified, an individual would be required to successfully complete training in accordance with a standardized curriculum or be otherwise qualified through job experience to develop and apply a food safety system.”

The expectation is that a “qualified individual” will be required to perform the following duties:

  • Prepare the food safety plan
  • Develop the hazard analysis
  • Validate the preventive controls
  • Review records
  • Conduct a reanalysis of the food safety plan

How does this training impact a food processing plant’s pest management programs? Gallagher says employee pest-related training should focus on pest exclusion practices, learning how to spot potential pest threats and understanding conditions (i.e. poor sanitation, structural deficiencies, inconsistent GMPs, etc.) that make a facility vulnerable to pest infestation.

“Documented training, whether done in-person or online, showing you are teaching employees’ how to prevent pest infestations is the new normal,” says Gallagher. “Sprague can assist and guide clients on the best methods to meet SQF and BRC requirements for pest-related training and help keep you compliant.”


Education & Schools, Food Processing & Manufacturing