One of the issues we’ve been dealing with is that food safety does not stop at the production of the product, and so retailers and foodservice operators need to take action to reduce their own contribution to foodborne illness.
We pointed out that in the midst of the spinach outbreak, Wal-Mart had a problem with a Salmonella outbreak believed to be caused by its own employees. We also pointed out the problem with retail case temperatures. Additionally, we explained the challenge of maintaining the cold chain throughout many steps.
We also pointed out that the produce industry’s Buyer-led Food Safety Action Plan would have been better received if the buyers had indicated a willingness to change their own operations to increase food safety.
Apparently the FDA also has some concerns in this regard as they have announced a new satellite broadcast:
Mark your calendars and make arrangements to download the satellite broadcast, “REDUCING RISK FACTORS IN RETAIL AND FOOD SERVICE” on Thursday, November 30, 2006 from 1:00 to 3:30 pm (Eastern Time).
This program will provide ideas, examples and tools for regulators and the food industry to reduce the occurrence of risk factors that cause foodborne illness at retail. Effective strategies to overcome common business and behavioral problems are featured in the success stories in this broadcast. Their educational tools and materials are available to download from our website along with contact information for follow up.
It is a little awkward to arrange to see this. You either have to have access to a satellite dish receiver or go to various facilities around the country where you can view it.
We haven’t seen the program yet, so can’t specifically recommend it — still if the FDA is running a program such as this, it would certainly make sense for larger retailers and foodservice operators with access to a satellite link to have someone listen in.
You can find details at this website.