Pay heed: HACCP, the FDA and NOAA change shape of fish inspection for USA.It's a "paradigm shift A dramatic change in methodology or practice. It often refers to a major change in thinking and planning, which ultimately changes the way projects are implemented. For example, accessing applications and data from the Web instead of from local servers is a paradigm shift. See paradigm. ," and it's the law: fish and seafood processors in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. now face mandatory inspection under an HACCP HACCP
hazard analysis critical control points. (Hazard Analysis A hazard analysis is a process used to characterize the elements of risk. The results of a hazard analysis is the identification of unacceptable risks and the selection of means of controlling or eliminating them. , Critical Control Points) system. Europe is phasing in a similar program, to be fully implemented by 1995.
HACCP is a new concept, designed to be proactive rather than reactive: to stop food safety problems before they start, by concentrating on those "critical control points" in food processing where things are most likely to go wrong -- and then making sure they don't.
Ted Evans, president of Surefish, a seafood quality specialist consulting firm based in Seattle, Wash., outlined the concept at the International Seafood Conference in Bangkok. Because foreign plants exporting seafood to the US will be required to adopt HACCP, the new system already has international implications.
The HACCP system is industry-friendly, Evans explained, because it's flexible: each industry establishes its own procedures and technology, and these can be updated if new methods of safety enhancement become workable. Instead of testing products, at plants or ports of entry, HACCP monitors the system that produces them.
Food safety has become a major issue for US policy makers. New seafood safety legislation has been passed over the past six years, and now Vice President Albert Gore wants all food safety authority consolidated under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA FDA
Food and Drug Administration
n.pr See Food and Drug Administration.
n.pr the abbreviation for the Food and Drug Administration. ). Meanwhile, public fears about food safety have been raised by incidents like children in the Northwest dying from hamburger contaminated contaminated,
v 1. made radioactive by the addition of small quantities of radioactive material.
2. made contaminated by adding infective or radiographic materials.
3. an infective surface or object. with E. coli E. coli: see Escherichia coli.
in full Escherichia coli
Species of bacterium that inhabits the stomach and intestines. E. coli can be transmitted by water, milk, food, or flies and other insects. .
HACCP has already been used in the food industry, he noted: Pillsbury adopted it for foods supplied to the space program, in order to avoid time-consuming tests of the actual products. The system has also been widely adopted for low-acid canned foods. Although the mandatory FDA program for seafood applies only to safety, not quality, there will also be a parallel voluntary program under the National Marine Fisheries Service The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is a United States federal agency. A division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Commerce, NMFS is responsible for the stewardship and management of the nation's living marine (NMFS NMFS National Marine Fisheries Service
NMFS National Mortality Followback Survey
NMFS Network Multimedia File System
NMFS Nested Mount File System ) to address quality standards. Quality standards are also part of the EC system.
Evans cautioned that HACCP won't replace traditional inspection. Plants will still be inspected by the FDA for good manufacturing practices, sanitation economic fraud and the wholesomeness of their products, and customs inspections will continue in the standard mode -- with detentions, import alerts and the like still a threat. But the burden of proof for safety will be on the processors, and there will be a direct correlation between the amount of risk posed by each product and the degree of government involvement. FDA Guide Available
What processors have to do is determine the potential safety hazards of their products, based on the seafoods involved and the processing methods. The FDA has a guide to help processors figure out where the hazards are, while the NMFS leaves everything up to the processor. Critical control points are the points in handling and processing at which failures threatening the safety of products can occur; processors must identify them and establish critical limits (usually objective and measurable, but sometimes subjective or organoleptic or·gan·o·lep·tic
1. Relating to perception by a sensory organ.
2. Involving the use of sense organs.
organoleptic ) for each product and/or process. Monitoring procedures must then be established to ensure that those critical limits are enforced. Corrective action must be taken whenever there is a failure, and records must be kept to verify compliance -- both for the processor's own use and for government audits. What the FDA wants is to assure consumer confidence in seafood. Every processor (and "processing" means anything beyond heading and gutting) must adopt an HACCP program and programs must be more stringent for the 1,000 concerns (out of 5,600) considered to be dealing in "high-risk" products. Importers must provide assurance that foreign suppliers they do business with have adopted HACCP programs, and even submit overseas HACCP records with shipments. Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) are being negotiated with major seafood exporting countries to assure mutual compliance with HACCP standards. The NMFS voluntary HACCP system, going beyond safety to address economic fraud (adulteration Mixing something impure with something genuine, or an inferior article with a superior one of the same kind.
Adulteration usually refers to mixing other matter of an inferior and sometimes harmful quality with food or drink intended to be sold. and substitution) and wholesomeness, will be a fee-for-service program, with processors paying for auditing and administration. The NMFS, which comes under NOAA NOAA
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Noun 1. NOAA - an agency in the Department of Commerce that maps the oceans and conserves their living resources; predicts changes to the earth's environment; (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Noun 1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - an agency in the Department of Commerce that maps the oceans and conserves their living resources; predicts changes to the earth's environment; provides weather reports and forecasts floods and hurricanes and ) rather than the FDA, will have its own team of auditors. But to avoid duplication of effort and expense, Evans said, NMFS auditors may be allowed to do the FDA auditing as well at plants taking part in the NMFS program, and simply forward their findings to the FDA. Details of the FDA program had not been released at press time, but were expected to be published early in the new year. Bankrupt Scottish Shellfish Plant Reborn under Galloway Seafoods
A state-of-the art shellfish factory at Newton Stewart, Scotland, built only two years ago at a cost of |pound~1 million, has been rescued by Stanley Bernard of Sco-Fro Foods and John King of West Coast Sea Products, who bought it in November from the receivers of the original company and are now operating it as Galloway Seafoods.
The plant, which employed more than 100 people, had produced breaded scampi. King and Bernard started it up again immediately, producing queen and king scallops for the UK and export trade as well as breaded scampi for the high end of the market. Products are being sold through Sco-Fro and West Coast to new and established customers. The partners have worked together for twenty years TWENTY YEARS. The lapse of twenty years raises a presumption of certain facts, and after such a time, the party against whom the presumption has been raised, will be required to prove a negative to establish his rights.
2. , and said they are excited by the challenge of their latest venture.