The Food Safety Modernization Act: From Farm to Table, Keeping Your Food Temperature in Compliance
GENEVA, OH, October 24, 2016
In order to comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), it’s imperative to shift the focus toward preventing contamination rather than responding to contamination. From process to preparation, it’s important for everyone to adhere to the five major elements of the FSMA: prevention, inspection, importation, response and enhanced partnerships.
Monitoring Food Temperature Throughout the Manufacturing Process
One of the most effective ways to comply with FSMA requirements is by thoroughly monitoring physical factors such as time, humidity, temperature, pH, flow rate and water activity (Aw), a measure of the free moisture in a food. Manufacturing operations such as dehydration, heat processing, freezing, refrigeration and acidification will also impact the state of the food and will require close monitoring. This ensures that, despite mechanical breakdowns, temperature fluctuations, time delays and other factors, the process remains in compliance and won’t contribute to the decomposition or contamination of the food.
During the manufacturing process, it is critical for food to be heated and chilled at the appropriate temperatures. Products such as batters, breads, sauces and gravies should be heated, then either rapidly cooled or subsequently moved to another manufacturing process without delay.
Farm-to-Fork Temperature Monitoring
The FMSA requires farm-to-fork monitoring as a preventative measure. When applicable, companies should institute maximum and/or minimum temperature values to control potential hazards. To minimize the possibility of pathogen development, it is critical to maintain specified temperatures, especially for meat, and accurately measure fluctuations to ensure safe consumption.
To learn more about food temperatures and safety and how to comply with the FSMA, download “Preventing Foodborne Illness: The Farm-to-Fork Focus of the FSMA.”