The United Fresh Produce Association has put together a pair of publications designed to help produce businesses deal with recalls and food safety plans that comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The free Recall Resource Guide can help the produce industry better prepare for potential recall events as part of the association’s Recall Ready suite of services. The new resource provides a general overview and outline, explaining why it’s critical for companies to have a recall plan; the basic components of a recall plan and response processes; how a recall plan differs from a food safety plan and traceability; and also offers additional recall-related resources.
Meanwhile, produce wholesalers and distributors now have a new tool to develop food safety plans that comply with FDA regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act. “How to Build a Food Safety Plan” is now available on the United Fresh website for $100 for members and $300 for non-members.
“The Recall Resource Guide is a valuable tool and is an initial step-by-step checklist for the produce industry, serving as a baseline to ensure companies are taking the correct precautionary steps to be prepared for potential product recalls,” said Dr. Jennifer McEntire, United Fresh Vice President of Food Safety & Technology, who designed the resource guide with Amy Philpott, Vice President, Crisis Services for Watson Green, LLC.
The FSMA guide is designed for wholesalers that “face many of the same food safety regulatory challenges other members of the produce supply chain do under FSMA, but the unique nature of the wholesale producec business means the rules apply differently to these types of companies,” McEntire said. “It’s critical that wholesalers and distributors understand their responsibilities under the new rules, and this new publication provides step by step guidance on assessing how the rules apply to your operations and developing the appropriate company food safety plan.”
The United Fresh Recall Ready Program consists of exclusive education and training services. This initiative is a partnership between United Fresh and the legal and communications experts at OFW Law and Watson Green, LLC, which are among the food industry’s leading crisis counseling firms. With both groups working together, program participants learn how to execute a recall to protect public health, comply with all government requirements, and minimize the impact on their business – all from top food safety and legal and crisis communications professionals.
To complement the new Recall Resource Guide, United Fresh has developed the Recall Ready Workshop, taking place April 10-11 in Orlando, FL. This one-and-a-half day hands-on workshop will help teach the fundamentals of a product recall and test attendees in a real-to-life crisis simulation. Hear directly from the FDA, as well as a regulatory attorney, microbiologist, and crisis communications experts on the essential elements that should be included in a recall plan.
The FSMA guide was developed with the support of the National Association of Perishable Agricultural Receivers (NAPAR), which had previously published a food safety plan builder for wholesalers written by McEntire. The new publication includes a summary of each of the major FSMA rules and how they impact wholesalers, including a step-by-step review of the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule, which requires the development of a food safety plan. The publication includes templates developed by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance that companies can use to develop and implement their food safety plans.
“The Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule applies to facilities that are required to register with the FDA, which applies to most wholesalers and distributors,” said John Motley, President of NAPAR. “These companies need to develop a food safety plan to be considered in compliance with this rule, as well as to meet customers’ expectations and requirements.”