FDA Proposes Nationwide Implementation of Food Inspection Program

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing mandatory nationwide implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points guidelines, which would transfer food inspection responsibilities to private and smaller entities.

According to the FDA, HACCP is “management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.”

These guidelines apply to all human food with certain exceptions, including low risk foods such as maple syrup and certain types of alcohol.

Michigan State University already operates under HACCP guidelines, according to meat lab manager Jennifer Dominquez.

“Since we are a federally inspected establishment, we are required to follow HACCP regulations,” she said.

“HACCP does work. We are required to document all the animals that come through here, they are all inspected, and we are even required to take microbial samples to ensure quality.”

Lansing Community College also uses the system, and James Grey, the college’s food service director, has confidence in the system.

“It actually makes [the food] safer by controlling the food heating and cooling, reducing the risk of food borne illness,” he said.

To learn the HACCP system, food professionals undergo a three-day training program that teaches them the skills they will need to implement their facility’s mandatory written food safety plan, which includes hazard analysis, preventive controls, monitoring, corrective actions, verification and recordkeeping.

According to the FDA, HACCP-registered facilities are still federally inspected to ensure that guidelines are being properly implemented.