ABP Food Group hosts Sustainability Best Practice event

ABP Food Group recently hosted a best practice Sustainability Summit for its beef and lamb sites. The aim of the event was to showcase and share examples of best practice and expertise from within the Group. All 120 attendees were encouraged to adopt innovations from other ABP Group locations across Ireland and the UK, and integrate to their local site. The bi-annual event, which took place in Dublin, has played a key part in ABP reaching many of its 2020 targets ahead of time.

Commenting at the event, Dean Holroyd, ABP’s Technical and Sustainability Director said: “This is an invaluable opportunity for the wider ABP team to share and learn. At the moment hundreds of innovative sustainability initiatives are taking place across all of our sites in Ireland and the United Kingdom, so it is important that all ABP sites benefit from these.

Today builds on the success of our 2015 event where 50 new sustainability projects were adopted and implemented, contributing significantly to progress against our 2020 targets.”

ABP Food Group is a founding member of Origin Green. Earlier this year the company became the first organisation globally to achieve Carbon Trust Triple Certification for the third time in a row.

The Carbon Trust Standard is the world’s leading independent certification awarded to organisations that can demonstrate they are taking effective action to tackle their environmental impact, verifying reductions in carbon emissions, water use and waste output.

It recognises good management and year-on-year improvements in sustainability performance.

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Current and future USFDA food import and export safety regulations

The US economy’s appetite for ingesting food imports is phenomenal, to use a mild term. How else does one describe an economy that takes in $49 billion a year? Considering that the FDA is the sole regulating agency that is tasked with overseeing imports of this magnitude, who can envy its responsibility? This is not all that the FDA does: its allied regulatory agencies monitor about half a million facilities in the US and abroad.

Since foods from almost every country in the world are brought in into the US to be sold in this huge market; the FDA has put in place very strict regulations for ensuring the food items that enter the US market are of set quality standards. To do so, it sets stringent standards that relate to the critical attributes of food, such as safety, sanitation, healthfulness and labeling.

The FDA coordinates with agencies across the country

The FDA’s coordination with other agencies is gargantuan, given the fact that about seven-tenths of seafood and 35% of all the food items consumed in the US are imported. It works with a number of agencies to carry out its functions. These are some of the agencies with which the FDA works in close association:

o  Homeland Security

o  Customs and Border Protection

o  The FDA and the USDA

o  Center for Disease Control

o  Food Safety Inspection Service

o  Agricultural and Marketing Services

o  Food and Nutrition Services

o  The U.S. Department of Commerce

o  Department of Defense, and

o  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Thorough understanding of the FDA’s work on food imports

A proper understanding of the way the FDA works with food imports, the regulations it has in place, and its expectations from importers is necessary for individuals and organizations that are connected with FDA food imports in one or another way. This knowledge is needed to help them ensure that their products reach US shores without trouble and get regulatory approval from the FDA.

This is the learning a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, will offer.

John Ryan, who began Ryan Systems a decade ago and who has been involved in the manufacturing, food, transportation and Internet industries over the past 30 years; will be the speaker at this webinar. please visit Current and Future Safety Regulations

To register for this learning session and get a thorough understanding of the FDA’s rules and thinking on food imports to the US.

Thorough familiarity of the FDA’s work on food imports

An understanding of the ways in which the various agencies work with the FDA in respect to food imports will be offered at this webinar. An in-depth understanding of this aspect is necessary for those who want to import food to the US and gain regulatory approval for their products, as they have to work with the FDA at various levels.

John Ryan will cover the following areas at this session:

o  Global Food Markets drive new import food safety requirements

o  Review how the FDA’s Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) are changing things

o  Understand “Prior Notice” requirements

o  Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)

o  Prepare for the Foreign Facility Inspection Program

o  Learn what is in the “Investigations Operation Manual” (IOM)

o  What can happen to your product when seized

o  Learn what other countries require for food import

o  Review the proposed rules for food safety and quality during transportation processes

o  Learn how much food and what food is imported from different countries

o  Understand what the Imported Seafood Safety Program includes

o  PREDICT & OASIS Systems

o  Other resources available to help you.

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Centrelink delays leave recipients unable to pay for rent or food

Problems with Centrelink payments caused “extremely stressful” delays for some of Australia’s most disadvantaged groups this week, while newly released figures show complaints about the agency jumped by more than 50,000 in the last financial year alone.

The delays to scheduled payments on Monday appear to have affected Newstart recipients. One welfare recipient told Guardian Australia the delay left him with $2 to his name and unable to afford food. He said he was saved only by the generosity of a friend who bought his groceries.

“I wasn’t sure when it was going to get resolved, [or] if it was even going to get resolved,” the Newstart recipient said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I didn’t know how I was going to pay rent, or for food.”

The Department of Human Services confirmed short delays in the making of payments but did not answer questions on how many people or what payment types were affected.

The department issued a brief statement saying that it had worked with the Reserve Bank of Australia to ensure the “timely release of a small number of payments which were slightly delayed on Monday”.

“All financial institutions processed payments yesterday apart from one, which finalised payments this morning,” department spokesman Hank Jongen said. “The department has well established arrangements with financial institutions to conduct processing when payment files delivered via the Reserve Bank occur on the same day they are due to be made.”

Confused welfare recipients voiced their anger on social media or visited local Centrelink offices.

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Techniques to Follow Which Increase the Confidence in the Audit

Auditing is a very important aspect of quality in all the areas of the medical sciences. An audit is the most reliable and foolproof method for evaluating the extent to which the various activities in an organization comply with the requirements and expectations the principal has from those to whom various processes are outsourced. Audits are the main tools for a quality unit to monitor and ensure that those activities are performed in compliance with the manufacturer commitments for quality and regulations.

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An audit is also essential to ensure that the organization meets guidelines set out by the regulatory authorities. Its uses are more pronounced in areas such as medical devices, clinical research, pharmaceuticals, and other areas of the life sciences which require adherence to very accurate and rigorous standards of processes, procedures, quality and policies.

Further, audits are also conducted to assess the quality of material supplied by vendors, who could be from fields as varied as accounting to software to claims settlements to medical products. In this era of outsourcing, it is but natural to expect players in the healthcare industry to outsource several of their activities for a number of reasons.

An audit is extremely crucial in all these activities in the life sciences industry, because it helps to control quality and save costs and many troubles that could come up if the processes are not adhered to. Outsourcing only saves the manufacturer or the provider the trouble of having to do many activities by himself; it does not absolve him of the legal responsibility. The law is very clear on this: Whenever there is noncompliance with the regulatory guidelines; it is the principal, or the provider, on whose shoulders the blame squarely lies.

An audit is effective, but only if done rightly

It is for this critical reason for which audits have to be performed, both internally and externally. But then, an audit can fail too, if it is not done properly. In the field of medical sciences, there are well-established good practices and best practices in many areas, such as Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Laboratory Practices, and so on, but there is no such convention as a Good Auditing Practice. This makes the voluntary inculcation of best practices an imperative for professionals in the areas of medical auditing.

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This is of extreme importance considering that most areas of the medical sciences deal with human lives. A high value is attached to audit practices, as an error from any of them, such as Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMO’s), subcontractors, and suppliers of many items can have very bad consequences.

 

A learning session on auditing of CMO’s

The concept of Good Auditing Practices may not have evolved yet, but guidelines, techniques, and practices are in place to ensure that the audit meets its requirements and fulfils its objectives relating to quality.

Want to explore the matters that go into making medical audits successful and how to audit CMO’s to ensure that the products and processes required in a number of areas of the life sciences comply with the regulatory guidelines? Then, a webinar from Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, will help you do this.

This webinar will have Eyal Learner, who is owner of ELC Consulting Services, which offers the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries support in all quality related issues, as the speaker. To gain insights into how to carry out audits and ensure an effective means of evaluating compliance with the objectives of the Quality System,  especially when it concerns suppliers and outsourcing operations like CMO’s, service providers, sub-contractors and raw materials suppliers; please register for this webinar by logging on to 3rd Party and Subcontractors

Helping auditing serve its purpose

At this webinar, Eyal will explain the vital purposes of auditing and the ways of ensuring compliance with the quality and regulatory standards set out by the regulatory agencies using the right auditing techniques. He will show practical aspects of auditing. Although auditing is based on set principles and is a well-planned activity; auditors have to contend with changes that keep coming up abruptly, unannounced.

Auditors need to be prepared for handling such situations, which is what Eyal will help understand. He will explain the audit techniques and skills needed in situations like this and show ways by which to make the audit to be successful and efficient. This course is particularly aimed at auditors, potential auditors and auditees working for the pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and API and Excipients industries.

Eyal will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • Short regulatory overview on external audits
    • GMP Requirements
    • Types of Audits
    • Rights & Duties
  • Planning
  • Off-site Assessment
  • Prefaces to Audit Techniques
  • General Techniques
  • Specific Techniques
  • FDA’s Quality System Inspection Technique (QSIT)

CAPA and Follow-up.

The role of validation in HACCP

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a process control system that is aimed at identifying the points or areas at which hazards (dangers) may arise in the food chain. It prescribes strict measures for manufacturers and transporters of food products to prevent contamination and the resultant hazards. Control of hazards in the food chain has always been a need, but HACCP assumes added significance in today’s world, where globalization has made it possible for food to travel to hitherto unexplored parts of the world.

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While this development has increased the choices before the consumers of food; it also brings challenges in the form of having to maintain hygiene and cleanliness standards throughout the often long food chains, usually over long periods of time. HACCP is considered a path breaking system in that it looks at food hazards very holistically and comprehensively. It seeks to control the onslaught of major microbiological contaminants in food such as E.coli, salmonella, listeria and many others that could cause diseases.

Tackling contamination from all sources

HACCP adapts a comprehensive view of all the sources of contamination, and seeks to prevent risks to food from all sources, such as:

  • Microbiological
  • Chemical
  • Physical

In addition, it also prescribes steps aimed at putting in place a hazard control system that consists of seven important steps:

Hazard-Analysis-&-Critical-Control-Points

  1. Conducting a hazard analysis for identifying potential hazards that could enter the food production process
  2. Identifying the critical control points (CCPs), which are points in the process in which the potential hazards could occur and taking steps to prevent and control them
  3. Establishing critical limits for preventive measures associated with each CCP
  4. Establishing CCP monitoring requirements to ensure that each CCP stays within its limit
  5. Establishing corrective actions where monitoring shows that a CCP is not within the established limits. The aim of the corrective actions is to prevent public health hazards from occurring
  6. Establishing effective recordkeeping and documenting procedures to ensure that the HACCP system is working rightly. Documentation should show the ways in which CCPs are being monitored, as well as verification activities and deviation records
  7. Establishing procedures for verifying that the entire HACCP system is working and offering the desired outcomes.

Good intentions not backed by validation requirements  

The noble intentions behind the HACCP systems and the stringent and serious endeavors towards their implementation notwithstanding; one grouse that food experts have had of the HACCP till recently is that the validation aspect of these hazards has not been given the same importance as other factors. Validation has no doubt been a part of HACCP, but somehow, it has been sort of overshadowed by the emphasis on verification.

It is only of late that validation has been gaining in prominence as a control measure. Companies need to validate their products by properly designing and taking adequate control measures that are capable of controlling food hazards within the process.

Understanding the role of validation in HACCP

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A valuable learning session that will emphasize the importance of validation in the HACCP system is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance.

Ruth Bell, a Food Safety/Quality and HACCP Management Consultant, Auditor and Trainer, who has worked on a number of projects helping organizations throughout the food chain to design, develop, implement and verify manageable food safety systems tailored to their needs, is the speaker at this webinar. Ruth is well known for her practical Quality and HACCP knowledge as an auditor, consultant and trainer. Please register for this webinar by visiting Food Safety Control Measures

Putting in place scientific validation measures

The aim of this session is to drive home the importance of validating food safety control measures to ensure food safety management system capability. Validation of food safety control measures is an essential measure in ensuring that a food safety management system will be capable of producing safe food and remains effective over a period of time.

Validating food safety control measures requires a theoretical examination of the scientific justifications for the control measures identified and practically challenging them to determine they will be suitable and capable of consistently achieving the required level of control to ensure safe food.  Ruth will dwell on these aspects in detail at this webinar.

This webinar is aimed at HACCP team members and leaders, technical/quality managers, food safety managers, as well as auditors of food safety and HACCP systems, and specifically for specialists in positions such as HACCP Team Members, Technical Managers, Production Managers, Engineering Managers, and Consultants.

The speaker will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • Current Guidelines for Validation
  • Differences between Verification and Validation Activities
  • Components of Food Safety Management System Validation
  • Validation Techniques including SPC, Predictive Microbiological Methods, and Challenge Testing.

Understanding the way the FDA works in handling food imports

The FDA’s task is cut out when it comes to one of its core functions –that of regulating imports. With the US economy absorbing food imports to the tune of $ 49 billion every year and with its allied regulatory agencies overseeing an astronomical number of nearly half a million facilities in the US and abroad; the FDA is certainly in a most unenviable position.

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In view of the fact that these foods are imported from almost all over the world to be sold into the US market; the FDA has strict regulations for ensuring the quality of the food items that enter the US market. Its primary task is to ensure that the foods and food products that enter the US market met the rigorous standards it sets in relation to safety, sanitation, wholesomeness and labeling.

Coordination with agencies across the country

Considering this fact, plus the fact that over two thirds of seafood and more than a third of all the food items consumed in the US are imported; it is no surprise that the FDA has a varied number of agencies with which it coordinates and whose help it takes to carry out its functions. These are some of them:

  • Homeland Security                              12662901_f520
  • Customs and Border Protection
  • The FDA and the USDA
  • Center for Disease Control
  • Food Safety Inspection Service
  • Agricultural and Marketing Services
  • Food and Nutrition Services
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense, and
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

In-depth understanding of the FDA’s work on food imports

Want to explore how to understand these agencies work in tandem with the FDA and want to ensure that your products reach US shores without hassles and get regulatory approval from the FDA? Then, you need to attend a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance.

The speaker at this webinar is John Ryan, who began Ryan Systems a decade ago and who has been involved in the manufacturing, food, transportation and Internet industries over the past 30 years. To enroll for this webinar and gain the immensely sharp insights John brings into the FDA’s thinking on food imports, please visit

http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501359LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

Complete understanding of the FDA’s work on food imports

John will offer understanding of the ways in which the various agencies work with the FDA in respect to food imports. A deep understanding in this area is necessary for those who want to import food to the US and gain regulatory approval for their products, since they all work with the FDA at various levels.

He will cover the following areas at this session:

  • Global Food Markets drive new import food safety requirements
  • Review how the FDA’s Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) are changing things
  • Understand “Prior Notice” requirements
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)
  • Prepare for the Foreign Facility Inspection Program
  • Learn what is in the “Investigations Operation Manual” (IOM)
  • What can happen to your product when seized
  • Learn what other countries require for food import
  • Review the proposed rules for food safety and quality during transportation processes
  • Learn how much food and what food is imported from different countries
  • Understand what the Imported Seafood Safety Program includes
  • PREDICT & OASIS Systems
  • Other resources available to help you.

Food safety concerns and issues and ways of mitigating them

Food, despite being the most important human need, is fraught with many risks and hazards. The food chain, which consists of activities that cover everything from the proverbial farm to fork, passes through many points at which a harm of any nature can happen. The chances of risks to the food safety chain are all the more amplified in this age of globalization, when food travels through many regions and continents from its source to its destination.

The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has identified five major issues with the food chain. These are:

o  Hazards of a microbiological nature

o  Residues left over by pesticides

o  Food additives

o  Chemical contaminants, such as pesticides; and

o  Adulteration.

Many other risks

Of late, this list has been extended to include genetically modified organisms, allergens, veterinary drugs residues and growth promoting hormones used in the production of animal products.

Further, other hazards to the food chain include antibiotic resistance, demographics, meaning the proper distribution of food to the right people, the effects from the environment, and foodborne illnesses. This clearly shows that there is no dearth of sources of hazards in the food chain.

Defining food quality and food safety

While these are the commonly identified areas of the food chain that are considered hazardous; a more fundamental issue for food specialists is in defining food quality and food safety. These have different meanings for food specialists. Identification and elimination of all the hazards that make food injurious to the eater is part of food safety. Anything that gives and enhances the value of the food to the consumer is considered a characteristic of food quality. Food quality can also include any negative traits such as spoilage, discoloration, rotting and stench, all of which affect the quality of food.

In view of the nature and expanse of the points at which hazards can happen in the food chain; it is necessary that there has to be a global cooperative effort aimed at checking these and ensuring food safety. Ensuring food safety at the local, national and global levels requires a high level of cooperation and coordination, not to speak of the sheer perseverance needed for it. A number of safety and quality standards have been in place for the food industry to adhere to. Compliance with these regulations goes a long way in eliminating a number of hazards and ensuring the quality and safety of food along the chain.

A webinar on food safety

All the aspects of food safety will be covered at a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance.

Michael Brodsky, who brings varied and deep experience of over four decades into food safety aspects and holds the position of lead auditor/assessor in microbiology for the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) and is a member of the Board of Directors among many others, will be the speaker at this webinar. To understand all the aspects of food safety from the expert, please register for this webinar by visiting

http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501352LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

Thorough understanding of all the aspects of food safety

At this webinar, Michael will address the complexity of defining safe food. All the important aspects of food safety, such as the changing nature of foodborne and food transmitted pathogens, new and emerging analytical technologies and the influence of demographics and geography on the changing landscape, and the roles and responsibilities for various stakeholders along the food chain in identifying and eliminating foodborne illnesses and contamination will be discussed at length.

With the world’s population burgeoning, especially in areas that are vulnerable to food safety issues, emerging pathogens present a set of new challenges to everyone in the food chain, such as food producers, food safety regulators, consumers and food microbiologists. Michael will highlight these issues and explain what responsibilities each of us has in ensuring that food is safe and what cooperative efforts we must all put towards attaining this objective.

Michael will cover the following areas during this webinar session:

o  Defining food safety

o  Risks and realities

o  Statistical reliability

o  New and emerging analytical technologies

o  The multiplicity of interacting factors

o  The changing landscape

o  Mitigating the risks.