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FDA to HHS Food Safety

regulatory took em long enough food safety

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Scampi

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Posted 15 July 2022 - 06:49 PM


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


Kara S.

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Posted 15 July 2022 - 07:36 PM

Agreed! I hope it passes! 


Kind regards, 

 

Kara Scherer 

Food & Beverage Industry Consultant

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G M

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Posted 21 July 2022 - 04:59 PM

I don't get the impression this "change" would actually produce any improvement.  All it seems to be doing is taking the various food related under-departments away from the FDA and giving them their own administrators -- both the FDA and the proposed FSA are still under HHS.  Despite the legislators repeatedly saying this would give the US a single agency responsible for food safety, it doesn't involve FSIS at all, so I'm pretty sure FSA + FSIS still equals 2.

 

Would anything be different?  You'd still have the same people in the same under-departments not advising their new bosses of anything.  A big part of the problem seems to be cultural -- they're afraid of confrontation with the sites they have oversight of, even when things are obviously wrong.



mgourley

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Posted 21 July 2022 - 05:31 PM

Quote form Senator Dick Durbin, a co-sponsor of the bill: emphasis mine

 

“The sad reality is that FDA seems unwilling or unable to use their authority to protect Americans from preventable illness and death. For that reason, Congresswoman DeLauro and I are introducing legislation to transfer all of FDA’s food responsibilities to a new agency that, we hope, will have more success in protecting the foods in our kids’ lunch boxes and on our dining room tables.”

 

I have been in the food industry for 30+ years. Maybe it's just luck, but the several companies I have worked for have always ensured food safety was a top priority. There is plenty of evidence out there that "some" companies or facilities do not.

I'm not quite sure what use another governmental agency will be.

 

Marshall



Scampi

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Posted 21 July 2022 - 05:49 PM

The FDA has very little power compared to other 1st world countries--perhaps the legislation needs more teeth

 

removing food safety from drug safety is also a really good idea IMHO as is hiring significantly more inspectors

 

You've been lucky Marshall--I like so many others have been in facilities where food safety is fluff and unimportant


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


G M

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Posted 21 July 2022 - 06:19 PM

The FDA has very little power compared to other 1st world countries--perhaps the legislation needs more teeth

 

removing food safety from drug safety is also a really good idea IMHO as is hiring significantly more inspectors

 

You've been lucky Marshall--I like so many others have been in facilities where food safety is fluff and unimportant

 

Since FSMA came into effect they have the authority, but there seems to be significant unwillingness to apply it.  The one part that could be missing is an equivalent to the USDA's ability to withdraw inspection -- but with inspectors on-the-ground in FDA inspected facilities so infrequently it's not really the same. 

 

That lack of a presence seems to be a big part of the wider problems though, with just 5k FDA inspectors for 80% of the industry, compared to 8k FSIS inspectors for meat.



mgourley

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Posted 21 July 2022 - 07:06 PM

While I applaud the intent of FSMA, many of my colleagues and I agreed that without robust inspection and enforcement, the "laws" would do very little good.

Where are they going to obtain all these new auditors we said. Who is going to train all these new auditors we said. Where is the funding going to come from we said.

 

FSMA did in fact cause companies like mine that already had food safety as a priority tighten things up more.

Roughly four years ago we had a FDA inspector show up on a Monday morning and say he was here for a FSMA readiness inspection and that he would be here all week. We had him out the door in two and a half days.

 

That being said, I'm sure it's long overdue (it's been proposed many times) to split out Food from the FDA.

As a matter of practicality though, the main hurdles will still remain (staffing and funding).

 

Marshall


Edited by mgourley, 21 July 2022 - 07:07 PM.


Kara S.

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Posted 26 July 2022 - 09:57 PM

Just curious... am I the only one that is scratching their head like why is everyone overlooking the fact that there is a SHORTAGE on formula because there is a MONOPOLY. Major corporations own numerous food brands. This could happen to anyone of them that produces multiple brands under the same roof. 
 
I think they should really revisit the Antitrust Laws because that obviously is a total joke. Look at all the meat companies that only got a slap on the wrist for price fixing. I'm sure those fines were chump change to them. Is there really much of a competition when you basically have 5 major players buying up the smaller up and coming competition to call their own??? Someone just posted that they were bought out and now they want to do away with the QA Dept!!! Big company, no food safety culture - likely going to lead to some problems down the road. 
 
I could probably rant forever but to end it... warning letters and fines haven't corrected any systemic issues. Shut the plant down until its corrected. ACTUALLY inspect the corrective actions and revisit unannounced to see if they are still keeping up with the changes - tired of just seeing warning letters like hey - we did an inspection, we didn't like your response, I'll give you ANOTHER 15 days to respond.


Kind regards, 

 

Kara Scherer 

Food & Beverage Industry Consultant

LinkedIn  |  Webpage

 

 


kfromNE

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Posted 27 July 2022 - 01:01 PM

Just curious... am I the only one that is scratching their head like why is everyone overlooking the fact that there is a SHORTAGE on formula because there is a MONOPOLY. Major corporations own numerous food brands. This could happen to anyone of them that produces multiple brands under the same roof. 
 
I think they should really revisit the Antitrust Laws because that obviously is a total joke. Look at all the meat companies that only got a slap on the wrist for price fixing. I'm sure those fines were chump change to them. Is there really much of a competition when you basically have 5 major players buying up the smaller up and coming competition to call their own??? Someone just posted that they were bought out and now they want to do away with the QA Dept!!! Big company, no food safety culture - likely going to lead to some problems down the road. 
 
I could probably rant forever but to end it... warning letters and fines haven't corrected any systemic issues. Shut the plant down until its corrected. ACTUALLY inspect the corrective actions and revisit unannounced to see if they are still keeping up with the changes - tired of just seeing warning letters like hey - we did an inspection, we didn't like your response, I'll give you ANOTHER 15 days to respond.

It's all over the place. Grocery stores, home goods, etc - mom and pop businesses can't compete with the prices of the major retailers.

 

Look at the meat companies during COVID. When they had to shut down due to COVID cases, there was a shortage of meat items. Four companies control the majority of production. The USDA is trying to fix this by providing grants to smaller facilities.

 

FSMA enacted all these rules, even more strict than the USDA - but put the responsibility on the facilities. Like mgourley said - those who made food safety a priority - increased it. Those who didn't care - put the rules into place but most likely don't follow them. Like many said - it's about putting more inspectors into the plants. Now how to do that - not sure.

 

The thing with food food safety - it is a preventative action. So businesses don't always understand the importance of it. When things don't happen - the system is working. So a company thinks - why should we spend the money. However when things go wrong is when people see the need. Similar to public health. It's less expensive to pay for prevention programs like preventing heart disease than pay the cost when someone does get it. The problem - it's hard to monetize. 



G M

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Posted 27 July 2022 - 08:17 PM

...

The thing with food food safety - it is a preventative action. So businesses don't always understand the importance of it. When things don't happen - the system is working. So a company thinks - why should we spend the money. However when things go wrong is when people see the need. Similar to public health. It's less expensive to pay for prevention programs like preventing heart disease than pay the cost when someone does get it. The problem - it's hard to monetize. 

 

Product safety and quality control are comparable to insurance.  You spend money on it not because it will make money, but because it will prevent loss.  That idea applies no matter what the product is.







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