Food Safety Counsel

Food Safety Counsel

Commentary From The Nation's Preeminent Food Safety Industry Attorneys

Category Archives: Food Safety News

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Controlling Risk And Exposure By Rethinking Training

Posted in Food Safety News
In recent years, the beef industry’s regulatory and litigation exposure from food safety and food quality issues has increased dramatically. Pathogens remain a huge source of exposure, as more foodborne illness outbreaks are being identified, more recalls are being announced and more lawsuits are being filed. Allergens also create substantial exposure, as a majority of … Continue Reading

Ensuring You Are Recall Ready

Posted in Food Safety News
If you think it is unlikely that your food products will someday be recalled, or that you’ll be covered by your insurance if it ever happens, think again. Recalls for the presence of pathogens or undeclared allergens in food products will continue to occur notwithstanding best efforts to prevent them. And while many companies go … Continue Reading

Managing Your Next Food Safety Assessment

Posted in Food Safety News
Until just recently, there were still a number of federal meat establishments that had not yet experienced a comprehensive Food Safety Assessment (“FSA”).  Today, the numbers are dwindling as the Food Safety Inspection Service (“FSIS“) is now far more aggressive in performing both “routine” and “for cause” FSAs. FSIS uses the FSA process, which typically … Continue Reading

The Three “Cs” of Food Safety

Posted in Food Safety News
The greatest challenge for the food industry over the past decade has been to continuously find new and better ways to make our food supply safer. Some companies focused on improving their sanitation programs, some companies focused on improving their HACCP plans, and some companies focused on investing in new interventions. Some companies focused on … Continue Reading

A Century of Food Safety Gives Us A Glimpse Into The Future

Posted in Food Safety News
Over the past Century, the ways in which our food has been grown, manufactured, distributed and regulated have changed dramatically.  There have been countless changes in food science and technology and the consumer preferences that drive them.  Food safety awareness has now been elevated to its highest level during the history of our nation.  And, … Continue Reading

FDA Proposes Competing Foreign Supplier Verification Rules

Posted in Food Safety News, Food Safety Regulations
Often, the things we fear most are the things we cannot see.  In the food industry, the fear of the unknown in recent years has driven substantial change. Here in the United States, industry has responded to the threat of invisible microorganisms, quite literally, by “turning on the lights.” In particular, more and more food … Continue Reading

Aiming For Greener Pasteurs

Posted in Food Safety News
Science and law have a lot in common. They are both quite technical, typically managed by people (scientists and lawyers) who over-complicate everything, are both expensive, and are constantly evolving. It is no surprise, then, that the law and the science of food safety have proven in recent history to be exceedingly complex, overly complicated, … Continue Reading

The Food Safety Lawyer On Sampling: USDA, FDA and Companion Samples

Posted in Food Safety News, Food Safety Regulations
In recent years, both USDA and FDA have become far more aggressive in their regulatory enforcement activities, inspections of food processing facilities and investigation of outbreaks. As FDA and USDA industry lawyers, we regularly assist companies both avoiding and responding to these issues. Notably, with respect to meat products, USDA has begun focusing more aggressively … Continue Reading

Food Safety Labeling: Putting Rare Steak On The Chopping Block

Posted in Food Safety News, Food Safety Regulations
Like most people, I enjoy a good steak. I have also found that, in recent years, my options for good, quality steaks have increased significantly, as food processors and restaurant chains look for ways to distinguish themselves and their products. Industry has moved toward more value-added products, such as mechanically tenderized steaks, using needles to … Continue Reading

Food Safety Lawyers Featured By The National Law Journal And Corporate Counsel Magazine

Posted in Food Safety Heroes, Food Safety News
The law firm of Gass Weber Mullins was recently named by the National Law Journal on its recent "Top Ten List" of law boutiques in the country, based upon the firm’s work representing numerous food and other companies on a wide variety of issues throughout the nation.  The honor comes on the heals of additional recent recognition, … Continue Reading

The Food Safety Modernization Act for Dummies

Posted in Food Safety Heroes, Food Safety News, Food Safety Regulations
There has been a lot written recently about the perceived complexities of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The new requirements are broad and onerous, stakeholders complain. The proposed rules will be burdensome and costly, experts predict. And FDA enforcement will be varied and inconsistent, others warn. And, yes, even I have been at least … Continue Reading

The Apples and Oranges of Occupational and Food Safety Culture

Posted in Food Safety Heroes, Food Safety News, Food Safety Regulations
We spend a lot of time thinking about food. Although we defend food companies in high-profile foodborne illness outbreak lawsuits throughout the country, the majority of our time is spent working with clients to improve the quality of their operations from a risk exposure and brand protection standpoint. This is our favorite and most rewarding … Continue Reading

Preventing Outbreaks And Recalls Is Becoming A Very “Hot” Topic

Posted in Food Safety News, Food Safety Regulations, Food Safety Tech Updates
Can anyone really guarantee that their products will never be implicated in a recall? For most raw beef processors, the response has consistently been that, in the absence of a validated intervention like high pressure processing or irradiation, such a statement was impossible. Interestingly, however, processors may have more control than they think. Increasingly, the … Continue Reading

Ensuring Compliance Under The FDA’s New Proposed Food Safety Rules

Posted in Food Safety News, Food Safety Regulations
The Federal Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”)  has finally published its long-anticipated proposed rules on Preventive Controls for Human Food (written food safety plans) and Standards for Produce Safety.  According to the FDA, the two rules “are key to the preventive food safety approach established by the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”).”  The … Continue Reading

Incentivizing Food Safety [PART I]

Posted in Food Safety Heroes, Food Safety News, Food Safety Regulations, Food Safety Tech Updates
Not a single day goes by when we don’t hear about the critical importance of food safety.  We need to develop, embrace and encourage a robust food safety culture, we’re told.  We have to tirelessly reassess and verify the effectiveness of our food safety programs, we’re led to believe.  We have to invest in, and … Continue Reading

Incentivizing Food Safety [PART II]

Posted in Food Safety Heroes, Food Safety News, Food Safety Regulations, Food Safety Tech Updates
In our last column, we introduced some of the fundamental challenges facing the food industry as it works to improve food safety.  Some of the greatest challenges, when it comes to food safety, are driven by basic economics.  This is because improving food safety, in most cases, costs money.  Unless everyone in the industry is … Continue Reading

The True Benefits of Consumer Confidence in Food Safety

Posted in Food Safety Heroes, Food Safety News, Food Safety Regulations
FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Michael Taylor, recently addressed the issue of the consumer confidence in food safety at China’s International Food Safety and Quality Conference last week. Taylor described the issue as “an important goal in its own right.” He stressed the issue is just as important as public health in regards to food … Continue Reading