Bits and Bites – October 2020

Welcome to the October 2020 Edition of Bits and Bites from HACCP Mentor. Our edition this month covers advisory on retention samples, how to become a mentor, upcoming training, interesting reads and recalls.

Ask Me! With HACCP Mentor

How long should you keep retention samples for?

We create Pet Treats at our facility and I would like to know how long do I have to keep retention samples for? We have samples that date 18 months back and that was their norm, but it is taking up a lot of space and we are continuing to produce. [Chris]

When it comes to keeping retention samples, it really depends on ‘why’ you want to keep the retention samples in the first place. Unfortunately, there is no set timeframe from any of the regulatory references or GFSI Recognized Standards that I have reviewed. But this does not mean you can’t set your own timeframe for keeping your retention samples. Some questions you may like to ask yourself include:

  • Is it a regulatory requirement?
  • Is it to confirm shelf life?
  • Is it to confirm packaging integrity over time?
  • Is it to monitor the stability of quality or food safety over time?
  • Is it for the purpose of product issue investigation?

When you work out your ‘why’ this will then provide clarity around how long you should keep the retention sample. As a food safety consultant, I generally advise my clients to keep retention samples, at a minimum, for at the least the shelf life of the product.

Interesting Reads and Recalls

USA FSMA Proposed Rule for Food Traceability

The FDA is proposing to establish additional traceability recordkeeping requirements beyond what is already required in existing regulations. At the core of this proposal is a requirement for those who manufacture, process, pack or hold foods on the Food Traceability List (FTL) to establish and maintain records containing Key Data Elements (KDEs) associated with different Critical Tracking Events (CTEs).  

While the proposed requirements would only apply to those foods on the FTL, they were designed to be suitable for all FDA-regulated food products. You can see if this proposed rule impacts your business by clicking here.

Marine biotoxin in Clams

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency triggered a recall of Clams after test results showed the presence of a Marine biotoxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning. [Read More]

Botulism in Vegan Pâté

Botulism is one of those food poisonings you hope you never experience! Fifteen poisoned consumers in Vietnam were hospitalized with such symptoms as muscle weakness, droopy eyelids, muscle paralysis, limb weakness, and difficulty breathing. The WHO provided Vietnam with vials of antidote to treat the patients. [Read More]

Hurricane resources for food produces

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition has several resources to help growers who may be affected by the impacts to their crops from severe weather conditions. [Read More]

Would you eat lab grown meat?

New research by the University of Sydney and Curtin University published in Frontiers in Nutrition, found that, despite having a great concern for the environment and animal welfare, 72 percent of Generation Z were not ready to accept cultured meat – defined in the survey as a lab-grown meat alternative produced by in-vitro cell cultures of animal cells, instead of from slaughtered animals. [Read More]

IFS publish new Food Standard

International Featured Standards (IFS) has recently published IFS Food v 7.  The new version of this standard gives more clarity about what we expect from auditors when they perform an IFS Assessment. The requirements now have a more prescriptive nature, and the new structure makes it easier to work with the standard. We have put more emphasis on the on-site evaluation and less on documentation [Read More]

FSPCA Intentional Adulteration Conducting Vulnerability Assessments

I am happy to announce that the FSPCA have Lead Instructors to deliver the IA – Conducting Vulnerability Assessments course via Instructor Led Virtual Training. This pilot program will run until the end of March 2021 with HACCP Mentor scheduling several courses during this time.

This FSPCA Intentional Adulteration course will provide participants with the knowledge to implement the requirements of conducting a vulnerability assessment under the Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration (IA) regulation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This regulation is one of a number of regulations and guidance that implement the provisions of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which focuses on safe food practices.

Our next course is due to run on Thursday 15th October 2020. You can find out more information and additional course dates by clicking here.

From the Podcast

OTM 10: How to become a professional food safety mentor

Peter Holtmann and I wrapped up our first series of “Off the Menu” by chatting about our final ‘level of mastery’ and becoming a Food Safety Mentor. Tune in to find out what a professional food safety mentor is, building personal attributes and how to become a food safety mentor. 

Professional Development Opportunities

October presents many opportunities to attend virtual conferences to support your ongoing development as a Food Safety Professional. I love that COVID has enabled food safety industry conferences to become accessible to everyone around the globe (without the travel).

Food Safety Live 2020

Food Safety Live is scheduled for 14th October 2020 and I have the pleasure of kicking off proceedings with a talk on ‘Modern learning options to educate and upskill your food handlers’. To register for this FREE virtual conference, head over to the International Food Safety and Quality Network to register.

IAFP 2020 Annual Meeting

The International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting is going virtual this year with a great line-up of sessions scheduled. The event runs from October 26 – 28 and is a great opportunity to find out the latest information in food safety from around the globe. I’ve got my ticket; will I see you virtually there?

SQF Global

The SQF Institute celebrates its 25th year by uniting the worldwide food safety community at its annual conference. The virtual conference tracks have been scheduled across multiple time zones including Sydney Australia, New Zealand, Chicago and San Francisco. See if anything interests you by checking out the program agenda.

Upcoming Live Training – October 2020

To secure your place just head over to the HACCP Mentor Virtual Training page to learn more or click on the individual course links above.

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