Proceedings of 2019 IFSH/FRI Joint Symposium: Managing Microbiological Testing as a Preventive Control Verification

Wendy Bedale

Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 204-214, May 2020

Volume 40, Issue 3: Pages 204–214

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In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the final rule for Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCHF). Food manufacturers are now required to comply with this regulation and others related to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In the transition from the former “reactive” stance to the more “proactive” approach to food safety that FSMA has prescribed, how should food manufacturers use microbiological testing within food safety programs? The flexibility built into the preventive controls regulations shifts responsibility from regulators to manufacturers, who must decide when, where, and how to utilize microbiological testing. Although numerous helpful resources are available, simple, cookbook-style instructions for conducting food safety-related microbiological testing do not exist, challenging manufacturers and sometimes regulators. Among the organizations from which food manufacturers have sought assistance are the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) and the Food Research Institute (FRI) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Recognizing an unmet need, these groups co-hosted a meeting on October 24, 2019, at which food manufacturers, regulators, scientists, and others shared knowledge and resources while discussing the best uses of microbiological testing in managing food safety under the FSMA.

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