By David Fairfield, Senior Vice President of Feed Services
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the availability of an online training course on food defense awareness designed to satisfy requirements established by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)-related rule for Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration.
The course, developed by FDA in partnership with the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance’s (FSPCA) Intentional Adulteration Subcommittee, is being offered free of charge on the FSPCA website.
The Intentional Adulteration rule requires that covered facilities develop and implement a food defense plan that protects the facility’s most vulnerable points from acts of intentional adulteration intended to cause wide-scale public health harm. The rule refers to points in a facility’s operation that have significant vulnerabilities as “actionable process steps.” According to the rule, individuals assigned to work at actionable process steps and their supervisors are required to receive training in food defense awareness.
Completion of the FDA/FSPCA course is one way of satisfying the food defense awareness training requirement established by the rule. Individuals who complete the approximately 30-minute online module will be able to generate a certificate of completion from the website. Significantly, it is important to note that the training requirement in the rule is flexible, and individuals may choose this training or a similar food defense awareness training to satisfy the requirement.
Importantly, FDA’s final rule exempts from the intentional adulteration requirements facilities that solely manufacture, process, pack or store animal feed and pet food. In addition, the final rule exempts facilities, such as grain elevators, that solely store non-liquid food that is intended for human consumption. The exemption also expressly applies to the storage of mineral oil in liquid storage tanks and its application to raw, whole grains or oilseeds. However, the final rule does stipulate that facilities that store and apply mineral oil on other food products, such as baked goods, condiments, spices or confectionary products, evaluate mineral oil storage and use when conducting vulnerability assessments required under the regulations.