Q. Where should food manufacturers start when creating a compliance
program? What are the critical points
that should be a part of every food
company’s compliance program?
A. In my opinion, a good
quality compliance program is the
one tailored to the specific product
or products and the facility where
they are processed. The challenge
is that every food presents unique
quality challenges and opportunities
and, since the food industry is very
diverse and wide ranging, there is no
“one size fits all” compliance program for food processors. That said, a
compliance program focused on good
manufacturing practices and regulations is a good place to start. That
program is likely to include control
and/or critical control points in the
supplier verification and preventive
controls sections not just specific to
their manufacturing environment but
encompassing their entire business
chain, from vendor to customer.
Q. What specific technologies
have you seen that can help the food
industry ensure better quality products throughout the supply chain?
And how have evolving technologies
changed things for the better in terms
of QA/QC for the food industry?
A. While the there is no single
“silver bullet” to improve the quality of all foods, new technologies and
new applications of old technologies
and tools are continuously expanding
areas that can help improve quality
across every part of the supply chain.
Significant technical advances on tem-
Q. How has the FSMA impacted
perature control management, micro-
bial inactivation, food chemistry and
the uses of High Pressure, ionizing
microwave, food irradiation or electric
field are all technologies and tools that
can help improve the quality of many
foods. Again, no “single answer” but
many opportunities for improvement
that continue to challenge the food safe-
ty and quality assurance professionals
to use and implement as one additional
intervention or on in combination to set
better quality products and maintain the
same until the product is used.
quality assurance and quality control in
the food manufacturing industry?
A. The FDA Food Safety
Modernization Act (FSMA) is the
most sweeping reform of our food
safety laws in the US in more than 70
years. Key to this new law is the regulatory shift of focus from food safety
response to food safety prevention.
As such, this shift of focus will help
some food manufacturers align the
quality function with the same thinking and begin to take a more preventive approach to quality programs and
systems. For those manufacturers who
already took a preventive approach to
quality, FSMA is likely to facilitate
the implementation of new preventive
programs and the use of new tools to
monitor quality performance.