In a blog article published on February 27, 2017 by the U.S.-based non-profit organization Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Tom Neltner, chemicals policy director at EDF, and Maricel Maffini, consultant to EDF, argue that chemical hazards must be considered in food safety plans.

The authors explain that under the Preventative Controls Rule, issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most facilities storing, processing, or manufacturing food must have a written food safety plan. Such a plan presents “a systematic approach for food manufacturers to prevent food safety problems rather than react when they arise.” Historically, the focus of these measures was on reducing the hazard of pathogenic contamination of foods. The authors emphasize, however, that the law also applies to chemical hazards in cases when a chemical, regardless of whether a contaminant or an additive, “has the potential to cause illness or injury.” Using lead as an example, the authors illustrate the requirements of the Preventive Controls Rule as they would apply to chemical hazards. They discuss sources of lead in the food supply chain, and outline the elements of a food safety plan for lead.

On March 2, 2017 the European Food Safety Authority released a proposal for a simplified approach to food safety management in small food retail businesses. The document provides “guidelines on how to identify the most relevant biological, chemical and physical hazards at each stage of the food production process, the activities or practices that make hazards more likely to occur and appropriate control measures.”

Read more

Tom Neltner and Maricel Maffini (February 27, 2017). “Why Food Safety Plans must consider chemical hazards.EDF + Business

Food Safety Magazine (February/March 2017). “What I learned by taking the FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food Course.

EFSA (March 2, 2017). “Food safety: simpler rules proposed for small retailers.

Oscar Rousseau (March 2, 2017). “New food safety rules for butchers.

EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), Ricci, A., et al. (2017). “Hazard analysis approaches for certain small retail establishments in view of the application of their food safety management systems.EFSA Journal 15: e04697