FDA has been gradually phasing in HACCP inspections of food plants that produce 100 percent fruit juice. According to industry sources, the process has not been a smooth one. Some plants are reporting that a number of inspectors lack basic knowledge such as how to read a recording chart.

Alan Sayler, director of regulatory affairs for the International Dairy Foods Association, has received similar complaints from his members, and attributes the problems to a lack of training for FDA’s new HACCP inspectors. “We as an industry worked very hard to provide HACCP training for plant operators, but unfortunately we haven’t seen that effort mirrored by FDA,” he said.

Saylor said industry personnel get a minimum of three days of training, but to his knowledge FDA training consists of a single four-hour video training session. He said HACCP inspections are more complex than regular safety food safety inspections and intensive training is necessary.