Protecting the Public from Food-borne Illness and Food Associated Hazards

March 30, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Protecting the Public from Food-borne Illness and Food Associated Hazards
are Main Goal as Addressed by Dr. Frank Busta of the Institute of Food Technologists


Chicago - At the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) meeting held on March 24, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) food scientist Dr. Frank Busta addressed food safety gaps in the Food Protection Plan by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Busta is a senior science advisor and the interim vice president of science and policy initiatives at IFT and is also director emeritus and senior science advisor of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense and professor emeritus of the University of Minnesota.

Speaking on behalf of IFT, Dr. Busta believes that the overarching goal of the FDA must be to protect the public from food-borne illness and food-associated hazards. IFT believes that food safety must be built into food products from the beginning. To achieve this, food manufacturers must take responsibility for ensuring food safety through management systems that address facilities, processes, and products. Food safety should have the commitment of top management and include adequate employee training in line with effective regulations.

IFT strongly supports risk-based approaches in efforts to ensure food safety and believes in HACCP as a vital component of food safety management. IFT also believes in the critical nature of HACCP prerequisites such as good agricultural practices [GAPs] and good manufacturing practices [GMPs], which are especially important in the control of hazards for which no critical control points [CCPs] exist.

In addition to food safety in products from the onset and employing food safety management, IFT recommends the following:

Focus on the overarching goal of protecting the public from food-borne illness and food associated hazards
Corporate responsibility for food safety management
Food safety built into food products
Modernization of GMP regulations and enforcement of industry compliance with GMPs
FDA verification of industry implementation of food safety management systems that incorporate effective process controls
Appropriate independent accreditation of unbiased third party certification
Availability to industry of an inventory of food safety programs by country, including main food exports and any particular concerns
Maintenance of momentum in food defense along with food safety
Encouragement of companies to assess vulnerability to intentional contamination with tools such as CARVER+Shock.

###

 

About IFT
Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is a nonprofit scientific society with more than 20,000 individual members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT serves as a conduit for multidisciplinary science thought leadership, championing the use of sound science through knowledge sharing, education, and advocacy. For more information on IFT, visit www.ift.org.