The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in cooperation with the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety and Health (IIT IFSH), a nationally-recognized leader in food safety, created the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) to develop training courses and technical information on preventing contamination for both human and animal food during production. The technical information being developed by the Alliance will help industry—particularly small- and medium-size companies—comply with the new preventive controls rules for human and animal food mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The FDA-funded Alliance, initiated in September 2011, is composed of members from the FDA, state regulatory agencies, the food industry, and academia.
Alliance Support to Industry
Under the FSMA, human and animal food facilities are required to develop food safety plans that evaluate food safety hazards, and identify the preventive measures to guard against those hazards. The plans must also describe how manufacturers will monitor their preventive measures to ensure they are working, and keep records of that monitoring. Manufacturers also must develop a plan of action to correct problems.
The final preventive controls rules for human and animal food are scheduled to be sent to the Federal Register in August 2015. Compliance dates vary according to the size of the business.
The Alliance is:
- developing a standardized hazard analysis and preventive controls training course and distance education modules for food industry and regulatory personnel (Read a summary of the curriculum and learning objectives.)
- designing a state-of-the-art distance learning training portal at the IIT IFSH Moffett Campus in Bedford Park, Ill.
- developing “train-the-trainer” materials and student education delivery systems
- establishing a technical assistance network who will provide technical assistance to the food industry, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses, to enhance food safety and compliance with the new preventive controls rules for human and animal food.
- developing technical information that can be used for commodity/industry sector-specific guidelines for preventive controls
- assessing knowledge gaps and research needs for further enhancement of preventive controls measures
- identifying and prioritizing the need for, and compiling, minimum/maximum values (e.g. critical limits) for parameters for widely used process controls
- The Alliance consists of representatives from academia, industry trade and scientific associations representing human and animal food, state regulatory agencies, FDA and IIT IFSH. The Alliance structure includes the Executive Committee, the Steering Committee, the Editorial Subcommittee, Animal Foods Subcommittee, Continuation Subcommittee, International Subcommittee, and Working Groups. (Read about the committees and subcommittees charters and membership.)
The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance is modeled on previous alliances, including those for seafood and fresh produce established by the FDA and groups representing academia, industry, and government. The Seafood HACCP Alliance was created in 1994 and the Produce Safety Alliance in 2010. In addition, the Sprout Safety Alliance was established in 2011.