As global food consumption continues to grow, the food safety landscape is also changing fast. Recent high-profile food recalls and outbreaks of food-borne illnesses have triggered increased public scrutiny. Customer are also increasingly aware of what they are buying opting for produce that is either locally sourced or has proof on the label that the product has been tested to high standards by third party quality inspectors.

New Requirements for the Food Industry

The Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in January 2011, dramatically strengthened the FDA’s authority and enforcement capabilities within the food and beverage industries. The law imposes new requirements, such as

  • Development of a food safety plan that includes establishing corrective procedures (also known as CAPA)
  • Additional recordkeeping
  • Increased inspections
  • Development of a product tracking system
  • Biennial registration of all food facilities

Economic impacts to the Food Industry

Complying with the FSMA’s requirements will undoubtedly cost money. But noncompliance that could lead to food recalls could be even more costly. Food growers, processors, and retailers saw a $201.9 million decline in spinach sales following the outbreak of E. coli disease in 2006. The peanut recall in 2009 was estimated to have cost the food industry more than $1 billion. In addition to reduced sales, any food or beverage recall also entails hundreds of millions of dollars in product-recall insurance costs, not to mention fines and litigation costs.

The food industry faces the twin demands of complying with new Government legislations and at the same time controlling business costs. Is your company equipped to do both?

Verify Technologies