Happy 2013 everyone!
Some of you may have heard that on Jan 4, 2013 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released 2 long-awaited proposed rules to provide more details on implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in January 2011. These are still proposed rules, so there will be a 120 day comment period where people can make their comments before the final rule is issued.
Maybe some of the rest of you are in the same boat as me- had a great, but busy holiday season and am feeling really busy and behind right now! :) Therefore, I have to admit that I have not had time yet to read through these rules closely (they are each ~600 pages long), but I will work with other food safety colleagues in Vermont and across the US to provide more information soon for everyone on how the rules might affect food processors and produce growers in Vermont. Here is some summary information on the proposed rules:
1) Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food
Preventive Controls – applies to facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food that fall under FDA jurisdiction. This rule requires that facilities have food safety plans in place for the preventive control of potential hazards. The document is 680 pages long. http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-00125_PI.pdf
2) Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption
Proposed Standards for Produce Safety – covers those fruits and vegetables that are likely to be consumed raw (spinach not potatoes). This document is 547 pages.
UVM Extension has a number of upcoming food safety trainings for food processors and produce growers, including the following:
Regulations for Selling Safe Canned Foods – January 25, 2013; 1-3 p.m., UVM Extension Office, Brattleboro, VT
Food Labeling for food producers and processors- February 1, 2013; 2-4PM, Burlington, VT
Food Safety regulations- February 22, 2013; 1-4PM, Burlington, VT
HACCP for food processors- March 28, 2013; 1-3PM, Burlington VT
More information and registration info on these and other upcoming workshops will be available soon from: http://www.uvm.edu/extension/food/?Page=food_safety.html
Also, the UVM Extension Produce safety program has the following workshops coming up: Practical Produce Safety (February) and GAPs (March). (dates and locations to be confimed). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on these workshops.
Please let me know if you have any questions or would like more information on food safety-related issues!