The Food and Drug Administration, in cooperation with the Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute for Food Safety and Health, established last December the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance to support safe food production and prevent foodborne illness. Funded by a $1 million grant, the Alliance is composed of officials from FDA, local and state food protection agencies, academia and the food industry, including IDFA.
The members are collaborating to develop training courses and materials on safe food production to help industry, especially small- and medium-sized companies, comply with new prevention control rules that will implement the Food Safety Modernization Act. Under FSMA, facilities are required to have in place or to develop food safety plans that evaluate food safety hazards, identify preventive measures, monitor for effectiveness and record results.
The Alliance has developed five separate working groups, and IDFA invites interested member companies to participate. The working groups will cover:
- core curriculum development for hazard identification and preventive controls;
- food categories and representative processing;
- allergen management and control;
- sanitation, current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) and environmental monitoring; and
- supply chain and ingredient management.
Each working group will have a specific agenda, assignments, tasks and activities, and will be guided by the Alliance steering committee. IDFA is a member of the committee.
"These activities will be accomplished primarily through electronic document exchange, webinars and phone calls," said Jonathan Gardner, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards. "We encourage all members who are interested in volunteering to complete the working group participation form and send it in as soon as possible."
For more information, contact Gardner at firstname.lastname@example.org.