Even with increased consumer awareness, CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. What can be done to protect us?
“We need a plan.”
Back in May of 1997, after 90 days of public meetings and lengthy discussion, the federal food-safety agencies (FDA, USDA, EPA, and CDC) submitted a report to the President of the United States. In their report, they clearly established the need to develop a strategic plan to establish a National Food Safety Initiative.
The cost? In terms of funding, a budget of $43,179,000 for fiscal year 1998 was outlined that would include funds for research, education, surveillance and inspections and would provide for the oversight of feed and drugs, crops, market animals and seafood. This was to be, indeed, a mammoth undertaking that would impact everyone who grows, harvests, packs, prepares and even serves food.
The Food Safety Modernization Act
Fast forward to today: the plan has become law. The sweeping Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by the president on January 4, 2011.
The goal: to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to PREVENTING it.
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Food processors now face the responsibility of protecting consumers through prevention. To be in compliance, the processor must:
Identify and evaluate known and foreseeable hazards. These hazards may be – among other things – biological, chemical, radiological, toxins, pesticides, drug residues and parasites. They may occur naturally or be introduced unintentionally, or even intentionally, as food additives or worse - acts of terrorism.
Minimize hazards through prevention, once hazards are identified
Monitor effectiveness of preventive controls and employ corrective action as needed
Verify the preventive controls and corrective action are adequate
How Puritan Comes into Play
To remain competitive while in compliance, food processors – and those who manufacture, process or pack pharmaceuticals, food supplements, cosmetics and personal care products – need an efficient plan. Puritan’s ESK® Sampling Kits and EnviroMax® environmental sampling swabs have proven to meet the challenge.
One soft drink bottler testing for yeast and mold said “your swabs are working great for me … it saves me a lot of time. I am very happy with your product.”
One end user, in charge of assuring his plant is in compliance with regulations, has chosen the ESK® sampling kits to test contact points in a seafood packing plant.
Another in a drug filling application selected Puritan’s environmental sampling products for testing for drug and cleaning agent residues.
Choose Puritan’s Environmental Sampling Devices
All agree – Puritan’s environmental sampling devices are the tools needed. Unlike rapid indicator tests that hopefully confirm what one hopes to find – a clean surface and safe environment – Puritan’s devices are the tools needed to analyze the biosafety of an entire operation.
Through thorough analysis of the environment, these operators get the most for their money. A solid plan that incorporates Puritan’s specimen collection devices is a recipe for success. Puritan – economical US made products in ready supply.