September 2019 was a busy month around the world involving significant market updates from Canada, China, Japan and the US, including new legislation in the UK and the FDA announcing public meetings and updating its free to use food defense builder tool, amongst many other stories.
The industry round-up is accompanied with a transcript and sources for more detailed reading.
- FDA update Food Defense Plan Builder for FSMA Intentional Adulteration Rule
The FDA’s free to use Food Defense Plan Builder tool has been updated. This tool helps companies comply with FSMA’s Intentional Adulteration Rule which came into effect in July earlier this year and guides the user through multiple sections relating to Food Defense. These include:
- Facility Information
- Product/Process Descriptions
- Vulnerability Assessments
- Mitigation Strategies
- Food Defense Monitoring Procedures
- Food Defense Corrective Actions Procedures
- Food Defense Verification Procedures
- Supporting Documents
- Food Defense Plan Signatures
The FDA will be hosting a webinar on October 10th with instructions for how to use the tool.
Details and links to both the tool and webinar are contained in the transcript of this video.
Of course, existing users of Safefood 360° can continue to meet their FSMA and IA compliance demands through the software.
- FDA seeks public feedback on approach to food safety plans
The FDA will also be hosting a public meeting seeking feedback on its new approach to food safety on October 21st.
The meeting will be in Maryland, but participation is welcome through a live webcast.
Details for how to register are in the transcript of this video and the closing date for oral comments is October 2nd.
USDA modify inspection rules on pork slaughterhouses
Elsewhere, the USDA changed rules on inspections in pork slaughterhouses which critics argue will make food safety testing inadequate and potentially increase the likelihood of foodborne illnesses occurring.
The USDA have stated the changes which will increase line speeds, and which had been under consideration for 20 years, will allow companies to better innovate.
Chinese suspension of pork costs Canadian economy $100m
The Canadian Meat Council claims that China’s suspension of pork and beef imports from Canada has caused approximately $100m in losses to the Canadian economy.
The suspension, which began in June, is still ongoing and originates from a shipment of pork with falsified documents claiming Canadian origin.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Royal Canadian Mounted Police are currently working with the Chinese authorities to resolve the issue.
China has also approved a further 25 meat processing plants in Brazil for export, including 17 beef sites.
These imports have begun immediately.
US and Japan agree on agriculture trade deal
The US and Japan have agreed a trade deal which will eliminate or significantly reduce the existing 38.5% tariff to over 90% of US food and agricultural products.
Japan was already the largest value destination for US pork and beef exports, having imported $3.7bn in 2018.
Food Labeling law updates in UK and Japan
A new law was laid in the UK parliament which requires food businesses to include full ingredients labeling on pre-packed for direct sales foods.
Stemming from the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the law has been called significant by both lawmakers and the family of Natasha and will go into effect in October 2021.
20% of products sold in Japan are not compliant with food labeling law
Meanwhile, it has been reported that 1 in 5 food products in Japan are not compliant with the country’s food labeling standards which came into effect in April, 2015.
There is a final cut-off date in place for March, 2020 so time is running out for those that are not compliant, which includes importers to Japan as well.
EFSA establish safe sodium and chloride values
The European Food Safety Authority have published dietary reference values for sodium of 2.0 grams per day, and 3.1 grams per day for chloride, and have updated its DRV Finder tool as well to reflect the changes.
A link to the tool is available in the transcript of this video.
Cyberattacks on Food Safety potentially on the Rise
A report by the University of Minnesota’s Food Protection and Defense Institute warns that food companies need to strengthen security and IT systems or face potential cyberattacks.
It suggests that although not traditionally a target of these type of attacks, as other industries such as finance strengthen their defences, the attackers may look for easier victims.
The full report recommends some critical steps companies can take that include:
- Bridging the cultural gap between Operational and IT staff to increase communication
- Conduct risk assessments and inventory both control and IT systems
- Make cybersecurity a part of operating culture for procurement
- Integrate cybersecurity with your food safety and food defense culture
The report also suggests that members of the food industry become more involved in cyber-related standards organizations and industry-government partnerships.
A link to the full report is included in the transcript of this video.