Bits and Bites – December 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of HACCP Mentor Bits and Bites for December 2020. Our edition this month covers advisory recognising QA fatigue, allergen awareness, upcoming live training, learnings from the FSPCA Conference and interesting reads that have caught my eye. Enjoy!

Do you have QA Fatigue?

Like most people I am feeling the cumulative effects of the COVID debacle, restrictions, and the years’ workload. Find out how to recognise QA fatigue and get tips on how to best manage by clicking here.

Allergen Awareness

Over the past 2 months, I have been busy updating and reformatting my ‘Allergen Awareness’ online course with new information and interactivity. As my 2020 gift to the HACCP Mentor community, you can get this training for a limited time for only $39! Click here to get started

Upcoming Live Virtual Training

What’s caught my eye

Hundreds poisoned in France from Wild Mushrooms

In response to an increase in the number of cases of poisonings due to wild mushroom consumption reported to the French Poison Control and Monitoring Centres (CAP-TVs), ANSES and the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) have issued a warning to wild mushroom gatherers and reminding them of the good practices to be observed. [Read More]

Food Illness Outbreaks tabulated by FDA

If you are looking for a simple summary and progress of foodborne illness outbreak investigations, you can’t go past this new resource issued by the FDA. This is a great way to check for new and emerging outbreaks that may affect your business the products you produce and the raw materials you handle. [Read More]

Free online hazard identification tool

Want to know what microbiological, chemical, allergenic and physical hazards are associated with different foods? Check out this free tool by Food Control Methods which has been based on the Potential Hazards for Foods and Processes (Appendix 1) of the Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food: Draft Guidance for Industry.

Key Learnings from the FSPCA Annual Conference

The FSPCA Annual Conference was held December 8-9 and I had the pleasure of participating on the panel for “Applying Best Practices for Virtual Teaching to FSPCA courses”. Besides this, the conference provided tons of value and learnings to all those who participated. Here are my top 3 learnings from the 2020 virtual conference.

Remote inspections challenges and barriers

Glenn Bass and John Verbeten from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave an FDA update on Implementing FSMA before and During COVID-19. Their insights on remote inspections challenges can be summarised as:

  • Communication between the auditee and auditor limits the opportunity to build trust and report between both parties.
  • Record files are too large to send via email
  • Remote communication solely based on telephone and email communication can lead to unresponsive auditees.

FSPCA to Update Human Foods Training

It has been a few years since training started to support the food industry in complying with the ‘Preventive Control Qualified Individual’ requirement mandated by FSMA. FSPCA has now started the review and update process for their key Human Foods Training.

Compliance with the Intentional Adulteration Rule

Jon Woody from the FDA reminded us of a quote from the FDA’s Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration: Guidance for Industry.

“We are not establishing minimum standards for competency and do not intend routinely to directly assess the qualifications of persons who function as the food defense qualified individual, whether by their training or by their job experience. Instead, we intend to focus our inspections on the adequacy of the food defense plan. As necessary and appropriate, we will consider whether deficiencies we identify in the food defense plan suggest that the food defense qualified individual may not have adequate training or experience to carry out the assigned functions”.

If your food business is required to comply with the IA Rule (US-based or International), this is a timely reminder that regardless of what intentional adulteration training you have completed, you need to be able to adequately implement the knowledge learnt.  

DIY Staff Training

Short sims can be a great way to train your staff using an interactive ‘choose your own adventure’ way. It allows staff to understand topics through a process that triggers them to think more deeply about the consequences of their actions. Want to learn more? Access my free webinar by clicking here.

Wrap Up

That wraps up our Bits and Bites – December 2020 edition. If you have any questions please reach out in the comments section below this post.

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