MC900434929The new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires registered food companies (including Nelson-Jameson, Inc. as a “holder and transporter” of food) to develop risk-based food safety plans. Included in this plan for food processors must be critical control points (CCPs), where known hazards related to raw materials and finished products are controlled.

For example, brine used to preserve a ham must contain sufficient salt, sugar and other dissolved ingredients to lower water activity and prevent growth of pathogens. Other control points include pH, allergen prevention, temperature (both processing and storage), among others.

Each of these control points are monitored in “real time” by some means, often with a continuous recording device or hand-held monitoring system. In today’s world of third party audits, Safe Quality Food Institute (SQF), and British Retail Consortium (BRC), certifications these measures to assure food safety are not enough. The instruments, and even some procedures, relied on to assure safe production processes must be checked using reliable instruments and standards, often traceable to National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) or other certifying bodies. This need to “check the checker” became the theme of our exhibit at the American Association of Meat Processors Convention this year. Interest was excellent and we intend to continue offering products in this context at other trade show venues throughout 2014.

For more information on Critical Control Points, visit our Learning Center or contact our Laboratory Products Department at 800-826-8302.