The first ever World Food Safety Day (WFSD) will be celebrated on June 7, 2019, in an effort to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, as well as contribute to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development. Get a better understanding of this momentous occasion with a helpful breakdown of when, how and why this day was established, and what you can do to participate.
In early May, the 21st annual Food Safety Summit was held in Rosemont, IL, bringing together hundreds of leaders and key stakeholders from the government, regulatory and academia community, as well as retailers, food processors, distributors, food manufacturers, growers, food service companies, testing laboratories, importers and exporters, law firms and other food safety professionals. If you didn’t have the opportunity to participate in this industry-renowned event, there are some key takeaways you don’t want to miss.
Use this checklist to help avoid Tens of Millions in damage costs, severe brand equity loss, and unexpected food audits.
“We recognize that it’s time to look to the future of food safety once again, with a view that builds on the progress we’re making with our regulatory framework, but also leverages the use of new and emerging technologies to create a more digital, traceable and safer system,” reads a newly released statement from Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D., and Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas on steps to usher the U.S. into a new era of smarter food safety. The announcement introduces the FDA’s plans to develop a “blueprint” intended to further modernize and evolve the country’s approach to food safety.
According to USDA records, more than 20 million pounds of meat were recalled last year, and the U.S. government is expected to issue new food safety guidelines after a recent spike in meat and poultry recalls due to product contamination. These headlines reveal the alarming rate at which food companies are still experiencing costly recalls, even amid modernized food safety regulation and heightened oversight. These statistics are a strong reminder of the importance of following preventive food safety guidelines and taking a proactive rather than reactive approach to contamination challenges.
These days, headlines warning consumers of food recalls from prominent brands are not few or far between. From Tyson Foods pulling 36,000 pounds of chicken nugget products due to complaints of rubber contamination, to Boston Market recalling 86 tons of boneless pork rib patties for potential glass or plastic contamination, to Butterball calling back more than 78,000 pounds of raw ground turkey over Salmonella fears, there’s no shortage of reminders that food safety is an ongoing challenge. In fact, the CDC’s official list of foodborne outbreaks for 2018 was larger than any previous year shown on their website, which goes back to 2006.
In food manufacturing plants across the country, food safety and quality managers can be seen documenting, storing and accessing their vital data using cumbersome spreadsheets and outdated paper methods. They’re clambering to meet heightened regulatory needs and monitor daily operations with limited resources, overworked employees and closing windows of time. As they cling to antiquated data management practices, the risk of food safety recalls and compliance infractions only surges. If you’re one of the many organizations in this familiar predicament, the message is clear: It’s time to go digital with your food safety data!