By: Ashley Eisenbeiser, MS, CFS, Director Food and Product Safety Programs, Food Marketing Institute, Sarah Malenich, Senior Manager for Sales & Marketing, Safe Quality Food Institute

Food Safety 2017For most food safety professionals, 2016 was a busy year.  More than likely, the ‘Food Safety Modernization Act or FSMA’ was the most commonly discussed topic throughout the food industry-that probably won’t change in 2017.  But as we start 2017, we thought we would highlight some things you can expect this year from food safety along with FMI resources that will help you throughout the year.

From the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you can expect:
Compliance Dates for several major FSMA Regulations.

FMI’s FSMA Resource Center provides the tools to help FMI members implement the FSMA regulations.

A new edition of the FDA Food CodeIn late 2017, FDA should publish the 2017 FDA Food Code.  The Food Code is a model that assists jurisdictions, at all levels of government, develop food safety rules that are consistent with national food regulatory police.  The FDA publishes a new edition of the Food Code every 4 years. 

From the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), you can expect:
Ground Beef Recordkeeping Outreach—FSIS will continue to conduct outreach on recordkeeping requirements related to grinding logs in order to improve compliance with the new requirements.

Listeria monocytogenes Compliance in Retail— FSIS will be determining the extent of industry’s adherence to FSIS Lm compliance guidelines by verifying that retailers are following FSIS’s recommended actions to control Lm contamination of RTE meat and poultry products. This includes obtaining data by surveying deli operators on whether, and to what extent, they are utilizing the Lm control at retail guidance document.

For more on what to expect from FSIS, see FSIS’s FY 2017 Annual Plan.

From the Partnership for Food Safety Education:
The 2017 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference –The Partnership for Food Safety Education will hold their Consumer Food Safety Education Conference January 25-27 in Washington D.C.  This year’s conference will feature leading experts on the topic of behavior change-the heart of improving food safety practices at home and at work.

Of course you can expect the Partnership to provide you a number of food safety resources to help support your food safety education efforts. 

From the Safe Quality Foods Institute (SQFI), you can expect:
A new SQF Code (Edition 8), including a new SQF Retail/Wholesale Grocery Code—SQFI has been working for some months on reviewing and updating Edition 8 of the SQF Code.  Edition 8, which includes draft Retail/Wholesale Grocery code as well as the draft Storage and Distribution code, is now available and open for public comment until COB February 6th EST.  Please provide any comments and suggestions that you have by using the boxes indicated on the Excel spreadsheets that are available here and send the completed Excel documents to with the subject line:  “Edition 8 Comments.”

Posting of Suppliers with Withdrawn SQF Certificates— As part of SQFI’s overall goal to continuously improve the Compliance and Integrity Program, SQFI has enhanced the withdrawn certificate requirement.  Effective January 1, 2017,  SQFI has retroactively posted all SQF suppliers who have had their certificate withdrawn 12 months from January 2016 due to reasons listed in the SQF Code, edition 7.2, part A, section 4.7.

SQF Education and Training, including Learning Lunch Webinars, Information Days and much more!

SQF International Conference--November 7-9, 2017 in Dallas TX

From FMI Food Safety, you can expect:
Food Safety Education Opportunities

  • FSMA Foreign Supplier Verification Program Training—FMI will be offering the Foreign Supplier Verification (FSVP) Training that was developed by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA).  This course was developed by experts from industry, academia and regulatory, with consultation from FDA and is designed to help participants understand and comply with the FSVP rule.  FMI has scheduled two trainings for 2017 in February and March.
    • More information and registration for the February 8-9 FSVP training is available here.
    • More information and registration for the March 8-9 FSVP training is available here. 
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Program Discussion Days—FMI will hold a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) Discussion Days for FMI members on February 10 and March 10 to discuss the FSVP Rule, implementation ideas and strategies. 
    • More information and registration for the February 10 FSVP Discussion Day is available here.
    • More information and registration for the March 10 FSVP Discussion Day is available here. 
  • A dedicated retail food safety education at the 2017 SQF International Conference being held November 7-9 in Dallas TX. More FMI food safety resources to cover your 365-degree, farm-to-fork food safety objectives.

Finally, in 2017 you should expect the unknown.  2017 brings a new administration along with a new regulatory agenda.  No matter what regulatory priorities are revealed, you can expect FMI Food Safety to continue serving our members by providing regulatory support, developing relevant resources, and expanding our food safety network.