For the past four years or so, discussions with the Almond Quality and Food Safety Committee have always revolved around attempts to understand and prepare for the food safety issues of the future. Certainly, high-profile nut recalls have had a tremendous impact on this direction, and, until now, our customers have played a major role in charting that course by establishing more stringent requirements and mandating attainment of third-party certifications that are compliant with the Global Food Safety Initiative.
This year, our industry will have to shift focus as the Food and Drug Administration begins to roll out new regulations associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Remember that long-forgotten federal food safety legislation that was signed into law last year? It wasn’t lost. In fact, the FDA has been feverishly working to develop new regulations to meet many deadlines established in the law.
Although I am confident we will be well positioned to meet and exceed many of the new mandates established by the FDA, it is now even clearer that these new regulations will have impact throughout the entire food supply chain, affecting every aspect of our business. Once again, our collective resources and efforts, coordinated through the Almond Board of California, will be the perfect platform for our industry to continue to excel and set an example for food safety. With the combined talent and experience of our industry, we will meet this challenge and continue to build our reputation as the industry leader.
Brian Dunning, Chair
Almond Quality and Food Safety Committee