What’s Trending in Food Safety?

Update (8/13/15): This article was originally published on May 21st, 2015 and stated that August 30th, 2015 was the deadline for the final rules to be released for the Food Safety Modernization Act’s preventative control for human and animal food. Since this article was published, the deadline has been extended to October 7th, 2015. 

The recently completed Food Safety Summit in Baltimore has provided much for food processing, warehousing, transportation and distribution professionals to mull over as they look ahead to the second half of 2015.


The Sprague Pest Experts caught up with Quality Assurance & Food Safety magazine editor, Lisa Lupo, for her impressions on what topics are headlining food industry professionals’ “watch list” and it all starts with a little taste of culture.


As the deadline draws near – August 30, 2015 – for the final rules to be released for the Food Safety Modernization Act’s preventative controls for human and animal food, many industry observers are wondering how the U.S. FDA will get it all done.


The FDA does not have the staffing or resources to fully implement all aspects of FSMA right out of the gate and it is working with other federal and state agencies to find ways to spread the workload around. At the end of the day the FDA will get the job done and the food processing industry must be prepared to comply with the new rules and requirements.


The question on many food industry professionals’ mind is, “What guidance can the FDA give me for my specific facility?”

“QA and facility managers across the country are waiting for guidance on how the new rules apply to the specific and sometimes unique elements within their facility,” says Lupo. “Food processing facilities are not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Each has unique aspects to them and that has managers asking, ‘How do I need to prepare?’”


This is where the facility’s pest management partner can step in and serve as a valuable resource to the management team. Being able to advise the client on how the pest management services they currently provide will be impacted by FSMA and what, if any, changes may need to be done to their program.


Lupo says food industry managers should ask their pest management partner to help educate plant staff, management and the client’s customers on how their pest management program contributes to and helps maintain a proper food safety environment.


“Explaining why a certain pesticide is used and under what circumstances will help internal staff, their customers and suppliers as well,” says Lupo. “Having the threat explained as well as the solution benefits all parties.”


The recent listeria outbreak at Blue Bell Ice Cream reinforced the message that a product recall can have a huge impact on a company’s brand and balance sheet, and that safeguarding facilities from harmful bacteria – often transmitted through pests – is a top priority.


“Education, understanding and guidance on FSMA’s new requirements is what the food processing industry needs right now and it will be up to the FDA to educate while they regulate,”

adds Lupo.

Food Processing & Manufacturing, Restaurants