June 16, 2024

FDA: Third Party Audits To Play A Bigger Role in Food Safety

During a budget hearing before a House subcommittee Friday, FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said that food inspections were just one of many activities that will comprise the agency’s strategy to protect the nation’s food supply in the next budget cycle. But one element that she described as being “very, very important to our program” will give some in the food safety world pause: third party audits. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses third party audits of food manufacturing facilities and farms to supplement the inspections it performs. But, as two high-profile food poisoning outbreaks have illustrated, there are serious problems with the way the third-party inspection system works. Chief among them is that growers or companies that make food are often required … [Read more...]

Study Finds Third Party Food Safety Auditors Follow Orders From Food Industry, Not FDA

A study conducted by Bloomberg Markets has found that third party auditors hired by the food industry are not required by follow any federal standards and have no government supervision. Drew Kerr of Bloomberg Markets Magazine sent us the story and a statement about the study. He said, "it turns out some of the biggest food poisonings of the last few years were given sterling marks from the industry-paid auditors." The study, published in the November issue, details the illness of Nellie Napier, an 80-year-old grandmother of 13 who died in the 2009 King Nut Peanut Corporation Salmonella outbreak whose family is a client of Pritzker Olsen. She is one of nine people killed by the bacteria that also sickened 714 people in 46 states. AIB, the third party auditor that checked on Peanut … [Read more...]

Congress Finds Third-Party Audits Ignore FDA Guidance

A report released today by the House Energy and Commerce Committee found that third-party auditors, which the FDA relies upon to oversee produce growing and processing facilities, often don't do their jobs according to FDA guidelines. The report was prompted by the deadly Jensen Farms cantaloupe Listeria outbreak that happened late in the summer of 2011. The report includes interviews with officials at the FDA, Jensen Farms, the cantaloupe distributor Frontera Produce, and the third-party auditors, Primus Labs and their subcontractor, Bio Food Safety, Inc. All involved parties also provided documentation of the outbreak. The FDA doesn't have regulations for cantaloupe processing; it only offers guidance to processors and auditors. At the present time, the government can't close a … [Read more...]

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