The first official food safety regulations were published in the late 19th century along with establishing the first food inspection departments. Since that time, the food industry has undergone significant transformations from a primary farm/local scale production to a complex, industrial, centralized production with extended distribution chains. In addition, the kinds of foods available have diversified and sourcing of ingredients/products from all over the globe has become common place. It follows that the food safety regulations that existed in 1890 would not be relevant in today’s more complex food system.
Food safety regulations are developed to ensure that laws are described in Acts passed by government bodies. To develop a new Act takes a significant amount of time and hence it is more frequent to add revisions than to pass new regulations and legislations. However, at some point a brand new Act is required as an increasing proportion of the old Acts become redundant. This was the basis for introducing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in the United States that will revolutionize the way food is inspected by commodities regulated by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). At the same time as FSMA was being developed, the Safe Foods for Canadians Act was also been developed in Canada. The primary incentive to modernize the Canadian food regulatory system is to be in-line with changes in the US that still represents our country’s leading trading partner.
The Safe Foods for Canadians Act is primary focused on changing the CFIA structure and enforcement powers, along with ensuring food safety standards of imported foods under Foreign Supplier Verification Program. FSMA has the same elements but also regulation of each food producer or manufacturer to have a food safety plan that provides evidence of Prevention and Control of hazards.
One such approach is HACCP-based systems that were applied for commodities not covered under mandatory HACCP or Small-to-Medium sized establishments, farms or retail. However, many HACCP-based systems are generic in nature meaning that implementation is largely subjective given the lack of prescriptive descriptions as found with mandatory HACCP plants. In addition, the lack of standardization of HACCP-based systems makes equivalency with other food safety systems challenging. Therefore, in 2000 a group of retailers, farmers and processors from across the globe came together to establish the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The concept of GFSI is to identify elements (benchmarking) of food safety systems (i.e. HACCP) and implementation to ensure equivalency.
This session with expert speakers Dr. Keith Warriner and Dr. Azadeh Namvar will discuss food safety regulations in the US and Canada and explain industry initiatives to enhance the efficacy of food safety management systems.
Who should attend?
Ask a question at the Q&A session following the live event and get advice unique to your situation, directly from our expert speaker.
Dr. Keith Warriner is currently a Professor within the Department of Food Science at University of Guelph, Canada. Dr. Warriner received his BSc in Food Science from the University of Nottingham, UK and PhD in Microbial Physiology from the University College of Wales Aberystwyth, UK. He later went on to work on biosensors within the University of Manchester, UK and subsequently returned to the University of Nottingham to become...
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