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.

Maximizing profits and patient outcomes in the backdrop of declining reimbursements

In the situation of falling revenues from Medicare billing, many practitioners are worried about the state of their future earnings. A very tangible factor that will help them tide over this problem is often overlooked: the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) program.

The DME program is a very reliable and long term source of income for Medicare practitioners. Yet, this is not considered seriously by most of them because of the various misconceptions that are associated with this program. Not only is the DME program absolutely valid legally; it is a terrific means by which practitioners can build a highly lucrative income avenue.

Building a steady revenue stream

Of course, there are a few provisions and conditions that need to be met if the DME program has to become successful. Being compliant with these requirements not only ensures that highly improved patient outcomes by protecting senior patients from unnecessary, debilitating surgeries that their bodies cannot cope up with at such a late stage of life; it also assures practitioners a steady income stream of the range of $10,000 a month, that too, with just one patient a day. This is all the more important in these times of decreasing patient traffic and professional services reimbursements from insurance companies but more so from Medicare, on the one hand, and increasing, even skyrocketing operating costs on the other.

The ways of attaining this kind of revenue stream will be taught at a very valuable webinar on this topic. It is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance. The speaker at this session is Gregory Simms, who has provided this DME Revenue Program model successfully across the country for hundreds of medical practices in numerous practice specialties. He is known in industry circles as the man who developed his revolutionary new Durable Medical Equipment Revenue Program in the Healthcare Industry in 2006.

To get to understand what it takes to build a highly effective, compliant and lucrative DME program that meets its desired outcomes, please register for this webinar by logging on to http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501329LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

A full exposition of the DME option

The core purpose of this session is to debunk popular myths about DME practice. For years, practitioners have been depriving themselves of this revenue stream because they have been referring the business to O&P shops, manufacturers or 3rd parties. The reason: The wrong belief that it is illegal and not profitable for them to adapt and implement a DME program.

Gregory will correct this fallacious line of thinking. If done following proper guidelines and regulations with appropriate protocols and processes, these can be developed into a full-fledged, profitable program that greatly enhances the value that practitioners provide to their patients, as well as their own practice.

All the tools needed for setting up a successful, compliant and effective DME program

At this webinar, Gregory will lead participants into the right direction on what is needed to set up a compliant DME program, starting with accreditation. He will show them how to obtain a DME PTAN license to bill Medicare and how to deal with their legal guidelines to prevent audits. He will show participants the ways of complying with Federal Guidelines such as the Stark Act & Anti-Kickback Statue. All these of course, will be carried out while ensuring a high degree of patient convenience and optimization of their clinical outcomes.

Doctors, owners or administrators of either general practice or of the Pain Management, Orthopedic, Neurological, Chiropractic, Podiatry, Physiatry, and Family Practice & Internal Medicine will benefit immensely from this session.

Gregory will cover the following areas at this webinar:

o  Business Opportunities

o  Legality

o  Myths vs. Reality

o  Operational Necessities Guidelines.

Webinar Calendar of Upcoming Courses – May to Jun 2017

webinar-training-online-education.jpgBelow is the event description content:

Compliance4All webinars are just what professionals in the regulatory

compliance areas need for scaling up in their careers. With a collection of

the most erudite experts on regulatory compliance being available at a click

in the comfort of your preferred location; regulatory compliance could not

get any simpler and effective!
Compliance4All’s experts help you unravel all the knowledge you need in all

the areas of regulatory compliance. They help professionals like you

implement the regulations and stay updated, so that regulatory compliance

causes no stress for you. Compliance4All’s experts offer their insightful

analysis into the issues that are of consequence to regulatory professionals

in their daily work. Their thoughts help you implement the best practices of

the industry into your work. They also offer updates on the latest regulatory

requirements arising out of a host of the laws and issues related to

regulatory compliance, such as Pharmaceuticals, Biologics, Healthcare, Food

and Beverages, Software, Embedded Technologies, Energy and Utility,

Payment Card Industry (PCI), and lots more.
Take a look at our upcoming webinars from Compliance4All, which will put

you on the road to learning about any area that is of importance to your

profession. You can plan your learning from Compliance4All by looking at

our events in the next few weeks. You can choose from a whole range of

topics. See which among these trainings suit you: FDA Regulation of

Medical Device Software, Conducting Successful Product Complaint

Investigations, CAPA, Failure Investigation and Root Cause Analysis, 1099

and W-9 Update, Laboratory-Developed Tests, avoiding an FDA 483,

Equipment Validation, and much more!

For more Calendar Webinars http://www.compliance4all.com/control/webinars_home

Paper records to electronic for pharmaceutical companies

Following the rapid advances being made in the field of information management in the past quarter of a century or so, computers have increasingly come to replace paper as the source in which important documents are created and stored. Till the last decade of the previous century, organizations used paper to record and document information relating to their research, development and business. From around the start of the 1990’s; the shift towards computerization of paper records has been noticeable.

Many differences between paper and electronic records

One of the defining differences between this electronic standard and traditional paper records is that while the latter used to be stored in a central, protected environment and managed by a designated managers; electronic records are spread over many locations.

Although some are managed by a central authority; most are under the control of individuals. Individuals in charge of this work have a wide range of computer based devices such as phones, laptops, tablets and USB storage devices at their disposal, which can be used for functions such as authoring, storing, and copying and transmitting relevant information.

Also, the information available on these systems can be stored and shared within several locations on the web, with the option of protecting some better than others. What has also changed substantially is the process of verifying the authenticity of a record. Earlier, the method used to authenticate paper records was via inked signatures of the author and witness. Encrypted e-signatures are replacing this practice.

Submissions to the regulatory authorities

In line with this development, the FDA and other global regulatory agencies started accepting electronic files, or at least parts of submissions, for testing and marketing drugs. This movement, which started in the early 1990’s, led to the creation of the Common Technical Document (eCTD) standard. This standard is now required in the US and most countries around the world.

If pharmaceutical and life sciences companies have to submit documents such as the NDA, ANDA, IND, BLA, DMF and the BMF to the FDA electronically, the eCTD has been the pan-industry, widely accepted standard since 2008. Submissions are, in fact, no longer done via paper records. If companies have to incorporate legacy paper records into an eCTD; they have to scan those and put them into a text readable format.

A source of important information

Despite the existence of this method; many companies continue to possess huge troves of paper based information, which are yet to enter the cyber realm. These records contain important information relating to the pre-clinical, clinical and drug safety paper records of drugs that did not make it to the marketing stage for a variety of reasons, because of which these companies have archived this information.

This archived data, if harnessed effectively, could be a rich source for offering knowledge that will go on to enhance inputs for submissions for other new or emerging indications for the drug or support efficacy or safety for related drugs. Many organizations have a large collection of paper records with retention times of 50 years or more. There is a dilemma of how to best preserve and utilize these records.

What is the way of going about for transiting?

Many companies are in a quandary about what to do in a situation in which the majority of records are electronic, but a substantial number remain as aging paper records. If the wealth of information available in paper format is to be exploited meaningfully, should they convert all the paper records to an electronic format, convert some of them, or just leave them in their current form? Given that complete conversion and subsequent integration is a very expensive and laborious exercise; a better option will be to convert on an as-needed basis.

The ways of how to do this effectively will be the topic of a highly educative webinar from Compliance4All, a provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance. At this webinar, Dr. Charlie Sodano, an experienced, globally recognized information management professional who launched eOrganizedWorld a consulting firm specializing in the planning and implementation of records and information management systems, will be the speaker.

To understand and have these issues resolved from the expert, please register for this webinar by logging on to Records policy and procedures

Dr. Sodano will take up and explain the issues relating to conversion of paper records into electronic, and the ways in which the submissions need to be made. This training is of importance to professionals in Research & Development, Regulatory, Clinical, Legal, Information Technology and Validation.

During the course of this session, Dr. Sodano will cover the following areas:

o  Records policy and procedures

o  Records data map

o  Incorporating paper records into a eCTD

o  Converting paper documents into a useful electronic format

o  Scanning costs and resources

o  Indexing and organizing scanned records and integrating them

o  Long term record storage and retrieval.

How does the FDA scrutinize Promotion?

The FDA has strict requirements on the way promotion and advertising practices are to be implemented by the industries that it regulates. Section 906 of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA), which came into effect in 2008 and amended the section that pertained to this topic previously, namely Section 502(n) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA); now requires that published Direct to Consumer (DTC) advertisements for prescription drugs should include the following statement printed conspicuously for all products including vaccines:

“You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit http://www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.”

One of many requirements

This is just one of the many requirements from the FDA about promotion and advertising practices. Any individual or company holding an approved application for a drug will be panelized for making a false or misleading claim in a Direct to Consumer (DTC) advertisement about the pharmaceutical product.

Such an entity can be fined up to a quarter of a million dollars for the first such violation in any three-year period. This fine can go up to half a million dollars for each subsequent violation in any three-year period. Further, the FDAAA fixes different levels of penalties for biological products.

New requirements that reinforce existing ones

In addition, the FDA issued two Draft Guidance documents in January 2017. These concern communications made by device manufacturers about information that is contained in the labeling of these products. The nub of these Guidance Documents is that for FDA-regulated medical device companies to escape enforcement actions from the regulatory agency; labeling has to be consistent with the standards and expectations set out by the FDA. It lists out a number of factors the FDA takes into consideration to determine if the labeling meets the standards of consistency set out by it. These are some of them:

o  Indication

o  Patient Population

o  Limitations and Directions for Handling, Preparing, and/or Using the product

o  The recommended dosage or use regimen or route of administration

o  The potential for increasing harm

o  Safe and effective use.

The FDA has, in this communication also set out the factors that it does not consider as being in line with its idea of consistency in labeling and false claims:

o  Stage, severity, or manifestation of disease

o  Use alone versus in combination with other product(s)

o  Route of administration

o  Strength, dosage, or use regimen

o  Dosage form.

This makes the grasp and proper implementation of the FDAAA requirements absolutely essential if an organization in the FDA-regulated industries has to be free of enforcement actions from the FDA and subsequent penalties.

Learning session on how to get the dynamics of FDA scrutiny of promotion and advertising practices right

This is the important learning a webinar from Compliance4All, a highly acclaimed provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, will be offering.

The speaker at this webinar is Casper Uldriks, who through his firm “Encore Insight LLC,” brings over 32 years of experience from the FDA. He brings the experience of having specialized in the FDA’s medical device program as a field investigator, a senior manager in the Office of Compliance and an Associate Center Director for the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. To gain understanding and clarity on these areas of FDA scrutiny of promotion and advertising practices, enroll for this webinar by logging on to FDA Scrutinize Promotion and Advertising Practices

Anticipate the FDA’s viewpoint of consistency

Anticipating the way the FDA will view and interpret its advertising and the way it monitors this activity is critical for any company that makes a marketing launch. If it fails to do this right, it could land itself in trouble and invite expensive and reputation-damaging enforcement actions. Companies that come under FDA regulation need to have a perfect grasp of what they are doing with DTC advertising and should not leave anything to chance.

Companies have to keep up with the defined boundaries of DTC advertising and promotion if they have to avoid FDA scrutiny. If the FDA deems a DTC marketing campaign to be misbranding the product, it will not allow it to be marketed. This calls for more sophistication and novelty on the part of firms in their advertising methods and messages. Firms need to pay attention to all the components of their advertising in mass media, such as volume, images, the prominence and conspicuousness of information, the speed of the message, subliminal messaging and the core message.

Get all the factors right to avoid FDA enforcement

This calls for a proper understanding of what each component of the advertising attempts to accomplish and then evaluate the integrated message. Ironically, this range of factors arms the FDA with sufficient ammunition to determine the advertising as misbranding and term it illegal.  The speaker will suggest the ways of tackling issues like this.

Casper will talk about these issues in depth at this webinar. He will cover the following areas:

o  FDA’s approach to DTC advertising and promotion principles

o  FDA guidance and use of cognitive psychology

o  Types of violation for illegal DTC advertising practices

o  The role of sales and marketing departments

o  Executives’ legal liability.

Proper handling of Out of Specification (OOS) result is the hallmark of a robust investigation

The whole exercise of drug making is incomplete and unthinkable without laboratory testing. There is no better indicator of success on the part of the drug manufacturer than this activity. This is absolutely essential as a means for confirming that all the ingredients that make a laboratory product, such as the raw materials used in it, the in-process materials as well as the finished materials that go into it, and containers as well, all kowtow to the set, required specifications. This is why current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) regulations are very stringent and uncompromising when it comes to laboratory testing.

Now, what does a laboratory do when its laboratory testing comes up with an Out of Specification (OOS) result? It is necessary to understand that an OOS is not something that is taken lightly. It is taken very seriously and handled very stringently by the FDA. Being the regulatory watchdog under whose watch the whole range of laboratory activity falls; the FDA is carries out laboratory operations extremely closely. It expects complete and total compliance with its requirements on the way laboratories are expected to investigate Out of Specification and Out-of-Tolerance observation investigations.

Under FDA’s Sec 211.165, cGMP regulations reject any finished Out of Specification products that do not comply with the set specifications, as well as its mandated safety and other quality standards. These cGMP regulations also mandate complete investigation of test results that demonstrate any deviation of the contents of a batch from the specifications. These cGMP rules apply irrespective of whether batches have been released into the market or not.

How do labs deal with OOS results?

The application of current Good Manufacturing Practices into the manufacture of both active pharmaceutical ingredient and finished pharmaceuticals is required under FDA’ Section 501(a) 2 (b) of cGMP guidelines on OOS. OOS testing is mandatory for any batch that is being released.

These are what cGMP regulations require laboratories to do when they observe and confirm an Out of Specification testing compulsory for the release of a test batch: Confirmation of an Out of Specification result causes the batch to get rejected. If a laboratory test result throws up an element of ambiguity, then cGMP regulations require the company’s Quality Assurance (QA) to both mention the reasons for the release and to offer justifications for it.

The FDA guidance on Out of Specification covers human drugs, biology and biotechnological products, combination products, veterinary drugs; type medicated articles, transplantation of human tissues, medicated feed, finished products & active pharmaceutical ingredients and dietary supplements.

A learning session on the vital aspects of OOS

These aspects of OOS results will be the topic of a highly interesting and valuable webinar from Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance. At this webinar, Danielle DeLucy MS, who is owner of ASA Training and Consulting, LLC which provides Pharmaceutical and Biologics based companies with training and quality systems assistance in order to meet Regulatory compliance, will be the speaker.

To enroll for this webinar and to gain complete understanding of how to handle OOS test results, please visit http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501333LIVE?Worpress-SEO

The aim of this webinar is to guide attendees through the entire process starting from detecting an OOS result to launch and completion of informal and formal laboratory and batch investigations. This will help companies understand where they are going wrong, as it has been consistently observed that most companies do have procedures in place, but these are either inadequate or are not followed.

At this webinar, Danielle will professionals in the area of lab testing, such as Quality Assurance/Quality Control Directors, Managers, and Specialists, Regulatory Affairs/Regulatory Compliance Directors, Managers, and Specialists, as well as Quality Control Laboratory Staff the responsibilities of analysts and supervisors. She will also enlighten them about how to listen to what the FDA looks for in terms of human errors, which will give them a good idea of what to do and what to avoid. She will also explain the situations in which a full investigation should be triggered, the frequency for re-testing and re-sampling, and the proper ways of implementing corrective and preventive action (CAPA) plans.

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/guidances/ucm070287.pdf

http://sphinxsai.com/2013/JulySept13/phPDF/PT=11(943-948)JS13.pdf

Understanding the ways of conducting shrink investigations

Shrink investigation is essentially about examining the causes of shrink (loss) in retail businesses. Although retail is one of the fastest growing areas of business, the possibility of shrink is very high in this area. It is also an overlooked area, because of which many shrinks that could otherwise have been prevented, do not get prevented.

Controlling losses is as important as making profits. In fact, it even precedes profit making. A shrink investigation is a means to understanding where the losses lie and what causes them. This should help them to formulate policies and procedures that help them do this. Mapping audit practices to established procedures is important in helping to identify the source of loss. A shrink investigation is ideal for serving these purposes.

A major means for controlling retail losses

A shrink investigation is very important when one considers the fact that a third of all retailers suffer losses that are both unidentified and uncontrolled. Most retailers fail to realize that carrying out a shrink investigation requires a sense of direction and purpose, periodicity, prolificacy, and proactivity.

A webinar from Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, will help you expand your thinking and set you on new horizons of shrink investigation. This webinar will be presided over by the highly experienced and acclaimed expert on law enforcement, criminal investigation, loss prevention and fraud examination, John E. Grimes III.

To benefit from John’s wide-ranging and solid experience, register for this webinar by visiting http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501274LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

In this session that personnel connected with the retail industry, such as Small Retail Business Owners, Managers, Auditors, Loss Prevention Professionals and Fraud Examiners will find very useful, John will impart a clear idea of all the elements of a shrink investigation.

Learning on all the aspects of shrink investigations

Attendance at this webinar will equip participants with a crystal clear understanding of the process needed for conducting a shrink investigation. These include covert observation of the store; a review of policies and procedures; a review of practices that are in contrast to established best practice procedures; a review of point of sale data including refunds and voids; taking frequent inventories; delivery audits; and paperwork review.

During the course of this 90-minute session, John will cover the following areas:

·        What causes Shrink (Losses) in a Retail Environment

·        The importance of having overarching Policies and workable Procedures to control shrink.

·        Understanding the steps to perform a Shrink Investigation when the source of losses is not identified through normal business operations procedures and practices. This webinar will discuss the steps, which include:

o  Covert observation

o  Undercover shoppers.

o  Review of policies and procedures

o  A review of point of sale data

o  Store meeting

o  Employee Interviews

o  Surprise Delivery Audits

o  Paperwork review

http://blog.lpinnovations.com/Loss-Prevention-Leadership/bid/76560/4-Key-Fundamentals-to-Positively-Impact-Your-Shrink-Loss