Food Safety Testing and FSMA, GFSI, and Brand Protection: Understanding the Role of Environmental, Raw Material and Finished Product Testing

June 01, 2016

A number of established and proposed global food safety regulations and initiatives seek to both protect consumers, and provide guidance to the food industry on how to best produce the safest possible products. These regulations and initiatives address all aspects of safe food production, processing, and delivery every step of the way to the consumer. Food companies can protect their consumers, and the integrity of their brands, by ensuring that they are performing the safest possible practices in their operations. A critical component of verifying the safety of their practices is testing. Testing serves multiple purposes in the food industry. This introductory paper provides an overview of the various aspects of microbial testing, including the testing of raw materials, finished products, or a facility’s production environment, with a tilt toward discussing pathogen testing. Subsequent papers will focus on using testing to verify allergen controls, and testing as a means to verify sanitation. This paper is designed to:

  • Provide the basic background information for:
    • Raw material testing
    • Finished product testing
    • Environmental pathogen monitoring
  • Illustrate the extent to which FDA has required (and not required) these different types of testing as part of the final FSMA Preventive Controls Rule
  • Explain how testing is addressed within GFSI schemes
  • Describe the considerations when determining the best way to include testing in your food safety program
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Category: Whitepapers