Food Safety Planning
The Food Safety Update section of Food Manufacturing is designed to offer our
readers insight into the state of food safety concerns across the industry. We
received hundreds of responses to this month’s survey on food safety planning.
Jesse Osborne, Editor
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans are a point of empha- sis in the food manufacturing industry as a result of pending Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) rules. Food Manufacturing polled readers regarding
FSMA, HACCP and their constantly evolving food safety plans.
According to the survey results, nearly 75 percent of respondents believe the regulations governing food safety are a good fit for the industry, compared to 16. 5 percent that
believe there is not enough oversight in food manufacturing facilities. Only 9. 2 percent
of those surveyed feel there is too much regulation.
Meanwhile, more than 96 percent of survey respondents said HACCP is a useful tool
to assist the industry in securing a safe food supply, while just under four percent said
food manufacturers would do better without a regulated food safety program.
Although more than 85 percent of respondents believe FSMA will help increase food
safety across the industry, more than 54 percent said they do not feel the FDA is providing enough guidance to prepare food manufacturers for the new requirements under
The vast majority of respondents (90.1 percent) said they believe it is fair that the
FSMA made HACCP planning mandatory across all food industry segments, instead of
just for meat, poultry, seafood and juice.
More than two-thirds of respondents (67.8 percent) said their facility has begun making changes to its HACCP plans in response to the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More than 69 percent said facility updates to food safety plans are prompted by the
processing of new products, while 68.6 percent said food safety plan updates were the
result of new equipment being purchased. Meanwhile, 67.3 percent said the discovery
of a better or more efficient way of doing things prompted changes. Other categories mentioned by respondents include: Changing regulations
(63.4 percent), new ingredients being used (58.2) and prompting from auditors ( 42. 5).
Internal QA/QC experts are viewed as the most valuable sources when consulting with experts in
writing and evaluating food safety programs, at 64.7 percent. Third-parties/customer auditors (58.8) and
USDA/FDA auditors ( 47. 7) also rated highly. Other sources of note included paid consultants ( 35. 3) and equip-
ment manufacturers ( 31. 4).
In terms of changes being made at facilities over the last 24 months due to food safety regulations,
improved employee training programs top the list, at 78.2 percent. Changes to product labeling was also
a top reporter, checking in at 51 percent. Other significant areas of change included processing chang-
es due to allergens ( 40.1), the purchase of new equipment to improve food safety ( 36. 7) and the
purchase of software to improve record keeping ( 29. 25 percent).
When asked how regulatory oversight by local, state and federal food safety auditors impact
operations at your plant, a number of responses were received, including:
“More stringent operational processes implemented.”
“We are audit-ready at any time.”
“Makes us aware of how well our compliance efforts are working.”
“They verify we are in compliance and have provided useful information in helping us improve
“Our company welcomes the review of our food safety programs to gain better knowledge and
improve our efforts.”
“It doesn’t, our food safety programs already exceed any Federal/State requirements.” ◆
What do you think of food
safety and HACCP
safety are a good
fit for the industry
There is not
in food manufacturing
When your facility updates food safety
plans, what prompts the change?
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
New products being processed
New equipment purchased 68.6%
Discovery of a better/
more efficient way of doing things 67.3%
Changing regulations 63.4%
New ingredients being used 58.2%
Prompting from auditors 42.5%