Food Defense

There are no shortcuts to Food Defense

April 3, 2024 | 3 Min Read

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has several rulings that support the FDA goal of transforming the nation’s food safety system by shifting the focus from responding to foodborne illness to preventing it. However, being proactive at prevention will require your food facility to implement technical measures beyond simply checking paperwork and locks. It’s not rocket science: It will take tech-enabled, standards-based solutions to improve accuracy, enhance efficiency, and ensure compliance with the FSMA Food Defense measures.

In his article Verifying Receipt for Food Traceability, under the sub-heading No Shortcuts to Compliance, Frank Yiannas makes the point that shortcuts to compliance are already being considered by food facilities. Frank states in his article that “…some food entities intend to use advanced shipping notices (ASNs) alone as evidence of a product’s “receipt” throughout the food chain.” Frank goes on to accurately point out that “…a notice of what’s claimed to be shipped doesn’t always reflect what’s received.”

The FDA clearly states in FD.4 that it is the food production facility, not the carrier, that must take mitigation steps necessary to protect the cargo during transit.

Unloading contaminated bulk ingredients at your food facility could result in much more than just a food crisis, recall, and plant shutdown. If the FDA determines that you did not mitigate the intentional adulteration vulnerabilities to the cargo during transit, then you could also face criminal charges.

Therefore, your mitigation actions have to be proactive, not reactive. To effectively implement the FDA requirement for mitigating intentional adulteration vulnerabilities, you must have a dynamic system in place to ensure that the bulk ingredients unloaded at your facility were not adulterated in transit.

Surelock Seals provides that dynamic system. Our patented system is currently being used by some of the largest national brand food, bakery, and candy producers in the United States for their cargo traceability, tracking, security, and employee safety. We are your Out of The Box solution for food traceability and security, offering both handheld and stationary RFID reader options to fit your budget. Our patented, double-locking RFID seals are attached to the trailer hatches after the bulk ingredient is loaded, and if tampered with in transit, they will be permanently destroyed. Unlike other RFID seals on the market that will continue to read after being cut, our seals cannot be circumvented. You are alerted as soon as the trailer pulls into your lot whether the bulk ingredient shipment was potentially adulterated during transit.

With Surelock Seals, you know BEFORE you unload.

If you have questions regarding Food Defense, or the FSMA Intentional Adulteration ruling, please contact us for a handout that outlines the issues, the FDA expectations, and how you can mitigate the vulnerabilities.

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