Last week IDFA joined with other food-based trade associations to successfully change a Georgia State Senate food safety bill to allow food processers to develop their own food safety plans. The legislation was introduced in response to food safety issues that surfaced during the recent Salmonella outbreak in Blakely, Ga.
Working with the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Georgia Food Industry Association, the coalition was successful in getting language included in the Senate bill that would allow food processing plants to create their own food safety plan — such as a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plan (HAACP) — instead of following the requirements established by the Georgia commissioner of agriculture. According to the bill, once a processor's plan is approved by the commissioner, the company would be allowed to follow the testing regimen included in its own plan. If the processor plan is being used, the testing requirements are limited to the finished food product.
"These changes are a tremendous improvement over the original bill, which would have required all food establishments to adhere to the commissioner's requirements without allowing processors the opportunity to create plans of their own," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president for legislative affairs and economic policy. "Maintaining these changes as the bill moves through the Georgia House of Representatives is important and will be watched carefully."
The original bill did not allow food processors to submit their own food safety plans. Instead, it required the Georgia agriculture commissioner to establish requirements for all regular testing of samples and ingredients by food processing plants for poisonous, deleterious substances or other contaminants.
For more information regarding this bill, contact Will Telligman, Legislative Affairs Coordinator, at email@example.com or (202) 220-3528.