Dr. Henry Turlington, AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs, designed the trainings with the understanding that, "FSMA will have a major impact on our industry and that can be overwhelming, but this thing is doable!"
The Food Safety Modernization Act has been discussed at length, and appropriately so, as it represents the largest regulatory change for the feed industry in more than 50 years and encompasses the entire industry from manufacturing (livestock, poultry and aquaculture feed, and pet food) to ingredient processing (domestic and foreign), as well as the transportation of these products. As you may have read in AFIA’s members-only FSMA Updates, the membership and staff have worked diligently as Congress wrote the initial legislation and for the last year, have provided comments and input to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on achieving a practical rule. While this process is not complete, and AFIA expects to achieve more practical changes in the final rule, AFIA is now focused on the second phase and fulfilling our organization’s fourth promise to our members—providing education and training on how to most practically comply with the new regulations, in your operations.
Phase I of a series of three training segments was offered on a regional basis this summer and fall. The seminars covered an “Overview of the New Rule,” “Good Manufacturing Practices (included in the feed rule)—the Foundation of an Effective Food Safety Plan” and the “Key Components of a Supplier Verification Program.” Regional sessions were hosted in Albany, N.Y. (in partnership with the Northeast Ag and Feed Alliance); Fort Wayne, Ind. (in partnership with the Agribusiness Council of Indiana and Ohio Agribusiness Association); Harrisburg, Penn. (in partnership with PennAg Industries); Sacramento, Calif.; Des Moines, Iowa; and Atlanta, Ga.
Phases II and III will be offered in 2015 and will cover risk identification and assessment as well as the development and implementation of an effective critical control program to address the risks likely to occur in your operations. AFIA will also offer future webinars to address specific areas, identified from the regional training, in more detail. Dr. Henry Turlington, AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs, designed the trainings with the understanding that, “FSMA will have a major impact on our industry and that can be overwhelming, but this thing is doable! We will take this one step at a time to make sure we all have the knowledge needed to comply with FSMA.”
AFIA is also working with FDA to draft its guidance documents for compliance with the feed rule. While there are certainly parts of the new rule that AFIA feels are unnecessary and over burdensome for the industry, based on the strong feed safety industry performance, we are pleased that the overall rule follows the plant-specific risk assessment and control approach that AFIA and our members introduced in 2004 with the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program. AFIA is making adjustments in the SF/SF program to ensure it also covers all of the final FSMA requirements.
I urge you to take advantage of the series of regional training sessions and webinars AFIA will be offering during the next year. Each training session and webinar is designed to help you and your business determine the best way to be compliant with FSMA, and in a way that is most practical and effective for your business. The trainings are an integral part of AFIA’s 4 Promises to our members along with ensuring our role in the overall safety of the U.S. food system while continuing to profitably grow your business.