December 8th, 2016 — With a new presidential administration headed to Washington, D.C., next month, augmented by Republican majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate, the implications for the food industry are on the minds of many.
The legislative and regulatory policies enacted in the past eight years — which include what is widely viewed as the most sweeping food safety updates since the 1950s, culminating in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) — have been significant.
It remains to be seen whether the incoming president will completely dismantle, maintain or only tweak the existing rules and regulations. In the meantime, as retailers continue to refine and retool their food safety practices in the wake of the passage of FSMA, they’re running into issues related to compliance.
“The greatest challenge for retailers to ensure food safety lies in achieving total supply chain visibility all the way back to the farm or manufacturing plant,” asserts Angela Fernandez, VP of retail grocery and foodservice for Lawrenceville, N.J.-based GS1 US, leader of the GS1 US Retail Grocery Initiative and the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative. “Product traceability enables stakeholders to locate potentially harmful products within the supply chain in the event of a recall or foodborne illness outbreak. To do this, they need standardized data they can retrieve quickly and accurately — or precisely, to those products that truly need to be removed from shelves.”