Manufacturing News

Prepare now to test and verify imported ingredients, products

While US food and beverage processors will be taking steps to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for products they produce in the US, processors that import ingredients or products from foreign suppliers will be required to verify these suppliers meet the same criteria as their American counterparts under the new law, says Gary Nowacki, TraceGains CEO.

Nowacki, with more than 20 years of experience in food and related industry software, adds the two-year timer started ticking in January so importers need to start moving quickly. Section 301 of FSMA deals with foreign supplier verification and what’s involved in the process, which is not trivial.

Verification activities may include annual on-site inspections and checking the hazard analysis and risk-based preventive control plan of the foreign supplier, says Nowacki. In addition, verification activities may include monitoring shipment records, doing lot-by-lot certification of compliance and periodically testing and sampling shipments.

Each importer must perform risk-based foreign supplier verification activities for the purpose of verifying the imported food is as safe as food produced and sold within the US. Records must be maintained for a period of not less than two years and shall be made available promptly to the FDA upon request, adds Nowacki.

One of the major challenges to importers will be verifying foreign suppliers’ certificates of analysis (COAs), he adds. While it can be difficult enough to verify COAs from American suppliers accurately describe their products, verifying a COA from a Chinese supplier will be more difficult. The melamine issue a couple of years ago is a good example. While the COA listed protein, it certainly didn’t specify melamine as its source. Consequently, importers will be forced to do the lab work to verify foreign COAs.

The first best practice  processors need, according to Nowacki, is a firewall, “making sure that all foreign suppliers are in complete compliance with all requirements and food safety [practices]and rejecting shipments automatically if they’re not in compliance.”

Yesterday’s tools-paper receipts and COAs, spreadsheets and clipboards-can help, but they need to be integrated with modern software systems to provide the response time FDA requires.

For more information and an extended interview with Gary Nowacki, visit “Are you ready for Title III, FSMA 301?” on the FE Web site.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

IPPE 2015

The 2015 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) was held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center, Jan. 27-29. More than 30,000 poultry, meat and feed industry representatives attended the event to interact with the 1,288 exhibitors on the show floor that covered more than 490,000 net square feet. At the show exhibitors demonstrated innovations in equipment, supplies and services utilized by firm in the production and processing of meat, poultry, eggs and feed products.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering February 2015 Cover

2015 February

In this February 2015 issue of Food Engineering, we explore how energy waste caused by leaks in compressed air, steam and water or faulty building insulation/seals can be reduced with the right equipment and knowledge.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.