Food Safety Modernization Act: What You Need To Know About FSMA from AIB

In the food industry, we have been hearing about FSMA for a couple of years now. The AIB has recently updated it’s guide to FSMA, and we think it’s a great resource!

FSMA is an amendment to the FD&C Act, therefore it applies to food and manufacturing sites that fall under the FD&C Act and are under FDA jurisdiction (Including foreign facilities that export to the USA).   It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by focusing on prevention.  FSMA does not apply to USDA regulated facilities.

The AIB guide states that FSMA is needed due to significant failures in food safety in recent years, including major recalls and major outbreaks, in addition to increased risks including issues with food allergens.

There are sections that apply directly to the food industry. These are grouped into 4 segments, including:

  • Preventing food safety problems
  • Detecting and responding to food safety problems
  • improving the safety of imported foods.

For the most current information on FSMA visit AIB Knowledge Center.

Hot Topics and Cool Science: What’s the difference between a food and a nutritional supplement?

Did you attend the SCIFTS Food Industry Conference?  It was a fantastic line-up of high powdered industry experts including past IFT presidents, John Ruff and Roger Clemens.  My favorite was a presentation by Mr. Justin Prochnow an attorney for Greenberg Traurig, LLP in Denver, CO.  He is an expert in food labeling law.

So — do you know the difference between a food and dietary supplement, such as Pepsi and Rock Star?

The word “Beverage” indicates a food, regulated by the FD&C Act.  “Dietary Supplement” is regulated under DSHAE.

The definition of a DS indicates the difference: “a product intended for ingestion that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to add further nutritional value to supplement the diet.”

Several key differentiators:

  • Foods may only contain GRAS substances or “approved food ingredients”
  • If the serving size is similar to a food or replaces a regular serving of a food then it’s a food.  Example: 3 – 16oz servings is recommended per day
  • Food labels may not contain structure function claims

Several flags for FDA in policing dietary supplements mislabeled as food:

  • “Drink” and “Beverage” in the name
  • Comparison to a food on the label or in marketing
  • High amounts of Daily Value for nutrients

Other things I learned:  Manufacturing DS is EXPENSIVE, don’t choose the channel and compete with foods.  DS must meet the DS cGMPs which are costly to manage with origin and composition guarantees.  Watch your marketing CLAIMS.  If the package includes your web address then the entire website is considered your package.  Any quotes or testimonials will be considered a company statement, especially those with a disease reference.

RCA Annual Conference 2014

It was my first time attending the Research Chef’s conference!!  I was thrilled to be among the industry’s chefs, research chefs, students, Culinologists,  and product developers in Portland, OR.

RCA 2014

In the education sessions, I heard speakers talk about diverse topics such as “all about sauces,” “Antimicrobial natural products,” and “Clean Labeling”.  In another session I heard a panel debate the differences between stunts, fads, and trends.

I loved hearing David Landers from Campbell’s talk about the company’s strategy for identifying and acting on trends.  John Luther, Chairma, Dunkin’ Brands,  spoke on the theme of “Culinary Warriors” during his keynote address.

The conference location, Portland, was a true highlight of the conference experience. What a fun city, so much to explore – coffee, restaurants, distilleries, breweries, book stores, and more!  Thank you to the Research Chef’s Association for a great event!