Working in the Food and Beverage Industry requires compliance with a variety of government, local and industry mandated regulations and standards. Food and beverage regulatory compliance during the manufacturing, packaging and distribution processes is necessary, most importantly, for the safety of the consumer and workers.
Facility cleanliness, freezer issues (or should we say temperature control?), pest control, energy efficiency and food safety are just some of the areas that need close attention. To best address these issues, you need to understand what the regulations are and how to comply, because these will affect your facility and equipment operations.
Regulations for the Food and Beverage Industry:
- Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – This act gives the FDA authority to regulate the way foods are grown, harvested and processed, with particular emphasis on prevention of foodborne illnesses. The regulations include rules on preventive controls, sanitary transportation and food defense.
- FSMA’s Sanitary Transportation rule – These rules apply to any party involved in the shipping, receiving, loading and carrying of food in the U.S (or to be distributed in the U.S) by motor or rail vehicle.
- Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) - Education and training in cGMPs is now a requirement – a plant’s management must ensure all employees who manufacture, process, pack or hold food have the education, training, and/or experience to be considered up to code.
- The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) – The SQF system is an assurance that a site’s food safety plans have been implemented in accordance with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) method to ensure the site uses a system that is verified and effectively manages food safety.
Facility and Equipment Factors to understand and address:
- Equipment standards at the loading dock and inside the facility.
- Environmental separation and control at the loading dock and inside the facility.
- Energy Savings and Conservation.
- Safety and security for personnel, product and equipment.
- Supply chain integrity – food safety and food defense.
What can be done?
Regulations and standards are seemingly never-ending, but you can help accomplish your compliance objectives by taking these steps:.
- Have a Plan
- Identify both Interior and Exterior Food Integrity Challenges
- Implement Food Integrity Solutions in areas, including coolers and freezers, loading docks and the perimeter (outside) of the facility.
- The integrity and safety of the food supply concerns the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)* and private sector alike. Together, they focus on having a plan to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses, malicious tampering and or terrorist actions.
Rite-Hite provides a number of solutions to address these challenges, and our representatives are prepared to work with all types of businesses to address their specific needs.
*European equivalent of FDA's GMP rules is the European Medicines Agency
Learn more by downloading the "Essential Guide to: Protecting Food Integrity."