Food Engineering

Regulatory Watch

August 12, 2003


OSHA making unannounced visits

Food manufacturing plants with a high rate of employee absenteeism could get an unannounced visit from OSHA. The federal agency recently started a year-long round of surprise inspections of high-hazard work sites, as determined by 2001 OSHA reports on workers’ injury/illness rates and related days away from work. OSHA said more than 3,000 workplaces have been targeted for the first round of inspections as part of the initiative, which expands a five-year-old program to include new criteria based on employees’ days away from work due to an illness or injury. According to the OSHA announcement, primary inspection targets are work sites that reported 14 or more injuries or illnesses resulting in lost work days or restricted activity for every 100 full-time workers. OHSA will also randomly select and inspect about 200 work sites that reported low injury/illness rates to review the actual degree of compliance.



More consistency for nutrient content claims

The National Food Processors Association (NFPA) has endorsed a proposed FDA rule to accommodate multi-serving meal-type meat and poultry products under nutrient content claim regulations. In a letter to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Regina Hildwine senior director, NFPA Food Labeling and Standards, said the proposal could increase the consistency between FSIS and FDA with respect to nutrient content claim regulations. “It would also allow multi-serving meal-type meat and poultry products to make claims that may have not been available to them for the better part of the past decade,” she said.



Mexican shellfish meet US standards

The US and Mexico have signed an agreement that formally recognizes that Mexican shellfish regulations meet US standards which are designed to ensure that molluscan shellfish imported into the US are safe for human consumption.