FSMA calls it “economically motivated adulteration.” The rest of the food chain calls it “food fraud.” Whatever you call it, food fraud currently presents real hazards. For example:
A report published this week in Food Safety News details an audit that the Directorate for General Health and Food Safety, an EU regulatory agency, conducted in February 2918 to measure Salmonella in turkey products sold in the EU. The audit specifically targeted Poland. Data collected from the audit demonstrate that industry testing for Salmonella was 100 times lower than official tests conducted by regulatory agencies. The audit concluded: “The much lower rate of detection of (Salmonella) in food business operator sampling renders this hazard analysis practically ineffective to detect Salmonella, which may be a reason that outbreaks still occur.” Do you really think so, Captain Obvious? The big reveal from the audit was not that poor/fraudulent sampling and testing result in foodbourne illness outbreaks. The big reveal was the extent to which food fraud still takes place in the “enlightened” FSMA Era…and we’re not just talking Southeast Asia here!
The FDA simply requires that economically motivated adulteration be addressed during hazard analysis. GFSI, however, requires much more. GFSI made food fraud prevention a requirement beginning in January 2018—every entity certified to GFSI standards must have a Food Fraud Vulnerability Assessment (FFVA) Program in place.
GFSI defines Food Fraud to include all types of fraud—adulteration, theft, tampering, counterfeiting, etc. Food Fraud applies to all products—incoming goods such as raw materials and outgoing goods including finished products. GFSI standards require the following:
Develop a Written Food Fraud Vulnerability Assessment tool.
Conduct an Assessment for all products, both foreign and domestic.
Confirm that all products—both incoming and outgoing goods—are subject to the Food Fraud Program.
Develop and administer a written Food Fraud Prevention Strategy (FFPS).
Minimally, conduct an annual review of the FFVA and FFPS programs.
Confirm that the Food Fraud Program considers all types of food fraud.
One of the most reliable methods available is to consistently take random samples for testing and validation.
In the FSMA era, we have several good reasons to trust our suppliers; but we have many more good reasons to test.
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Following these turkey tips will keep Aunt Margaret, Uncle Frank, Gammy, and all the rest of the family feeling happy and healthy this holiday weekend...