Throughout every facet of the frozen food and beverage industry, companies are preparing to navigate the new food safety landscape created by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Day by day, we come closer to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) implementation and enforcement of a host of new and complex federal rules, requirements, procedures and powers under FSMA.

The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), McLean, Va., is well positioned to assist companies navigate this new food safety paradigm. You’ll want to be sure to attend Process Expo 2015, set for Sept. 15-18 in Chicago, where AFFI will present on the fundamentals of FSMA and controlling Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in frozen food operations.

Beginning on Sept. 15, AFFI will host a 2-part series entitled “Environmental and Product Testing Programs: Control and Prevention of Listeria monocytogenes”and “Controlling Listeria monocytogenes: Sanitation and Sanitary Design in Frozen Food Facilities.” This series will focus on the most relevant and impactful aspects for implementation of a systems-based approach for the control and prevention of Lm.

I, along with Dr. Kelly Stevens, QRO technology leader for General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, will provide information to help frozen food companies and their colleagues throughout the cold chain understand, navigate and comply with the relevant regulations related to controlling and preventing Lm in food production. With a greater understanding of how to identify microbial food safety hazards within a variety of food manufacturing environments, attendees will be able to develop effective controls for the prevention of food adulteration.  

On Sept. 16, AFFI will moderate the FSMA-related session entitled “FSMA: How will it impact your business and how should you prepare?” Dr. Robert Brackett, vice president and director of the Institute for Food Safety and Health at Illinois Institute of Technology, will share how FSMA stands to significantly change the regulatory landscape of the U.S. food and beverage industry. This food safety session will address the fundamental requirements of FSMA and provide advice on how these requirements can be blended into existing in-plant food safety programs. Participants will learn what FDA inspectors will be looking for in an effective food safety plan, including hazard analysis, identification of preventive controls, specification of monitoring procedures, “parameters” or control limits, corrective actions, verification of procedures and implementation of a recall plan. 

In addition, the session will provide information on AFFI’s unique FSMA Readiness Self-Assessment Program that is specifically tailored to help members of the frozen food and beverage industry prepare for and adjust to the new food safety paradigm caused by FSMA.

I encourage you to attend Process Expo 2015 to hear more about the multi-faceted array of services and programs AFFI offers to help advance our shared goal of ensuring the safety of the food we make, store, ship and sell.