Lexology.com: On April 19, 2017, [the U.S. Food and Drug Administration] FDA announced that both the United States and Australia have recognized each other’s food safety systems as comparable to each other.Read Article →
Food destined for the U.S. would be inspected abroad and importers would be held more accountable for ensuring its safety, under new rules proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.
The US government is seeking to outsource work to companies that already have food-sourcing operations overseas. Under the rules proposed in late July, food importers would need to ensure that their foreign suppliers comply with FDA safety rules or that local regulations meet U.S. requirements. The measures also outline accreditation procedures for third-party auditors who would inspect food suppliers.
The FDA portrays the changes as a more effective method of targeting the sources of contaminated foods rather than merely responding after people get sick.
“We will continue to check food at our borders,” Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, said in a statement on the agency’s website.
“However, rather than relying almost entirely on FDA’s investigators at the ports to detect and respond to food safety problems, importers would – for the first time – be held accountable for verifying, in a manner transparent to FDA, that the food they import is safe.”
At the same time, Americans continue to perceive domestically sourced foods as safer than imports, says Marianne Rowden, president and chief executive of the American Association of Exporters & Importers, a trade group that counts several large importers such as Target and Mondelez International as members. (That perception gap remains, Rowden notes, even after several illness outbreaks tied to U.S.-grown produce.)
What’s less clear, according to Rowden, is how smaller players without the infrastructure and supply-chain expertise of major food importers will comply with the law. She predicts “critiques around the edges of some technical aspects” but no major industry backlash against the regulations.
“The food companies are very conscious about their brands,” she says. “We look at this as brand protection, rather than just new regulation.”
To read the full article by Justin Bachman, click here.
To find out more about the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) and how it affects US importers, click here.
GS1 have launched the new GS1 DataBar, to be implemented globally from January 2014.
This in an important development and will impact retailers both locally and internationally.
The GS1 DataBar is a family of seven barcodes, four of which can be read by omnidirectional scanners at Point-of-Sale. The smaller size will provide several advantages to anyone working in the supply chain and specifically for the fresh produce industry, allowing products that have not been previously barcoded to be quickly and accurately scanned at Point-of-Sale. The benefits of the new GS1 DataBar include:
â€¢ Improved Traceability – with more information input into the barcodes
â€¢ Enhanced and wider category management
â€¢ Product authentication
â€¢ Global variable measure product identification
â€¢ Increased shrink control through more effective markdown management
As an example, the GS1 DataBar provides for the automated markdown of products approaching expiry date. This saves time and resources in manual markdown and gives retailers the scope to improve product rotation and eliminate non-sales from expired products.
This will increase the level of confidence in the safety of fresh produce and aligns with goals of the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI).
Furthermore, the long-anticipated report produced for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) (report), was recently released and fits also with the PTI and the developments GS1 are making for traceability of fresh Produce. The recommendations in the IFT report including: encouraging current industry-led initiatives, not excluding commodities; accepting electronic traceability data/records during product tracing investigations; and requiring all organizations that handle food in the supply chain to identify and maintain records of traceability related information.
It is recommended that anyone working in the supply chain, no matter what size, understand the GS1 DataBar.
For more information on the GS1 DataBar, download the brochure.