In my travels as Sales Manager for Cherney Microbiological Services, it is my pleasure to speak with food safety professionals from companies of varying sizes and industries. In the last few years, FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) has taken a prominent role in our discussions of what is coming down the pipeline. Many large companies have established food safety plans and follow SQF, HACCP (or HARPC) or other programs of which regular product and environmental testing is already an integral component. This blog is not for those companies. This blog is for companies whose food safety programs haven’t caught up to the regulatory environment we find ourselves in.
If you are a Quality Manager who feels that your department is viewed by top management at your company as little more than an expense or if you are new to your position and looking for help, then I’m talking to you, too!
Your role is vitally important to the long term well-being of your company. Your job is to keep your product, your customers, and your brand safe. If you feel overwhelmed and are not sure where to turn, know that there are a lot of resources available to you… and the Cherney team can be one of those resources. You can call and talk through your issues with one of our Technical Experts, whether you are a current customer or not. We can help give you the information you need to bring to your management to help explain the “why’s” when it comes to your food safety program and “why” it’s vitally important that you start making changes - now!
While FSMA doesn’t specifically require testing, the last thing you want is for the FDA to come to your facility without any sense of what they might find. I suspect most of the people to whom this post might resonate, work for a company of fewer than 300 employees and who therefore must be FSMA compliant next year. If you’re not sure if you are ready, I wouldn’t wait. Here is just one quick option:
- If you are a small dairy manufacture in the state of Wisconsin, you have the opportunity to take advantage of a new program lead by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) and Center for Dairy Research (CDR) which is providing FREE FSMA training and consulting services. To learn more about this program – read the press release or contact WMCA directly.
Now is the time to make sure that you’ll be ready if the FDA comes knocking on your door. I’ll leave you with this – under FSMA, in the case of human illness caused by your products, you and your management can be held criminally liable. If you aren’t getting the support and resources that you need to effectively do your job to be FSMA compliant, ask your management this question: “How do you look in orange?”