According to the FDA, an estimated 83,609 businesses will be affected by FSMA and the proposed Sanitation Transportation Rule. These businesses must start complying with the new requirements 60 days after the final ruling. The FDA has recently extended the comment period on this proposed rule to July 30 2014, with some leeway being given to smaller businesses.
Risk of contamination throughout the cold chain supply is a potential, no matter how large or small your company may be. Preventive measures are necessary within every industry affected by this ruling. Keeping accurate records, establishing regular training on safety and procedures, properly maintaining equipment, and employing meticulous sanitation practices should all be key areas of focus. Ensuring that FSMA safety guidelines are met prevents the loss of product or adulteration of food, minimizing costs, non-compliance fines, and risk of lawsuits.
The majority of spoilages are a result of undetected dips in refrigeration. Spoilage typically occurs over a period of less than 24 hours, and usually when personnel are not present, or temperature monitoring is minimalized. Once FSMA guidelines are enforceable, ‘eyeballing’ and/or using imprecise practices with regard to food safety will no longer be an option worth the risk. It is not going to be safe to assume, based on visual inspections or slip shod temperature monitoring devices, that food will pass safety regulations.
Not all of the recommended procedures will be appropriate or practical for every transporter or distributor, but here are some general guidelines to be aware of when planning for 21 CFR Part 110 requirements, which deal mainly with food sanitation, food handling, and food preparation.
General Rules To Follow:
- Maintain proper temperature guidelines for hot and cold foods.
- Make sure equipment, containers, instruments, etc. are best suited for the storage and transportation of food (e.g., using plastic pallets instead of wooden)
- Monitor foods while in-transit (from cut to cool, and throughout all distribution channels).
- Avoid cross-contamination.
- Transport foods in containers and carriers that have been approved by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) or by the state or local health department.
- Prepare food carriers before use.
- Maintain FDA required temperatures of products while storing.
- Transport foods using appropriate equipment and processes.
- Clean and properly sanitize all interior and exterior surfaces.
For a complete list of Proposed Standards for Produce Safety - Coverage and Exemptions/Exclusions for Proposed 21 PART 112, click here.
DeltaTrak offers a wide range of products that offer excellent solutions for screening and testing for bacteria, monitoring cold chain from cut to retail, and for providing real-time feedback with regard to product temperatures in warehouses, distribution and transportation, storage, and manufacturing facilities, food service industries, and many other locations.
Our FSMA-Friendly Products
Automated facilities temperature monitoring systems can provide alarm alerts when temperature excursions are detected and are an inexpensive solution to monitoring your stored temperature sensitive goods. Additionally, DeltaTrak offers state-of-the-art temperature monitoring solutions that can log and store a continuous record of your produce condition and this stored data can be used to analyze temperature from field to store, which ultimately could prevent costly legal battles by providing proof that proper storage temperatures were maintained throughout.
One such solution is DeltaTrak’s FlashLink RF Logger, which monitors and records temperature and humidity, and is equipped with an alarm system. With wireless monitoring and complete management reporting features, the FlashLink RF is CE, RoHS, FCC ID, and WEEE Certified.
DeltaTrak’s In Transit Temperature Chart Recorders have been designed to document and record the environmental temperature conditions encountered during storage and transportation. The product is designed with vented cases which allow for superior circulation and accurate temperature responses. The documentation is streamlined, easy to use, lightweight, and the product comes equipped with serial numbers on every unit – for easy traceability. The recorders are single-use, and available in 5-Day to 90-Day transit periods.
We are now at a critical juncture; every company involved in FSMA’s Sanitation Transportation Ruling is going to have to decide how they will develop, improve, or change its processes to comply with these guidelines. DeltaTrak offers solutions for all those concerned with the FDA’s Sanitation Transportation Rule.