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A guide and FAQ about developing an allergen control plan in both english and spanish
This handbook provides guidance on building and implementing a holistic environmental monitoring program. Topics covered include hygiene monitoring, allergens, indicator organisms, spoilage organisms, pathogens, and instructions on environmental sampling.
An overview of sanitations procedures to control allergens. This includes common components of sanitation standard operating procedures, successful sanitation approaches, and other approaches for limiting allergen cross contact.
A short video that explains the difference between cross-contact vs cross-contamination of different foods, and how each can make people sick.
A brief explainer about what GMPs entail and who they apply to. The website explains the major focus points of GMPs according to FSMA and offers some guidance on how to ensure that producers and workers are compliant.
A checklist of questions that cover Good Manufacturing Practices as they apply to a food business with the corresponding regulation.
A powerpoint presentation explaining the need for environmental monitoring, key aspects of pathogen environmental monitoring, salmonella concerns, additional pathogens, and FSMA requirements
An explaination of what an environmental monitoring program is, why it matters, and some important testing components of an EMP.
This brief write up discusses the requirements that a facility must meet to follow GMP requirements, including personnel, sanitation SOPs, equipment, processes and controls.
A brief FAQ sheet that explains what the eight major allergens are and how to disclose them
An overview of Good Manufacturing practices and some of the components necessary to ensure a safe and sanitary manufacturing environment, including buildings and facilities, sanitary facilities and controls, and equipment and utensils.
An explainer of the role of validation in food safety, what processes should look like, and some examples of how to conduct an effective validation procedure on a safety process.
These guidelines are designed to assure that cooking instructions for NRTE products are capable of achieving a time/temperature combination sufficient to reduce possible pathogens to a safe level. The guidelines highlight some issues that should be considered when conducting validation studies and includes sample studies.
A fact sheet with background information about monkeypox, its possible impact on food processing and packaging, and recommendations for food processing facilities.
A guide through some common technical terms and symbols used in thermal processing and its research.
A list of laboratories in the Northeast region who can perform analytical testing on food
An introduction to water activity in food and how it can be used to predict food spoilage. This tool is useful in ensuring the longevity of food.
A guide to writing an allergen control plan, including necessary topics that a plan should address such as: supplier monitoring, plant traffic flow, raw material storage, color-coding systems for utensils used with allergens, production scheduling, cleaning, use of rework, evaluation of program effectiveness, label review policies, frequency of plan review, documentation and documentation review of activities, and employee education. Please note that this post predates 21 CFR 117 and updated resources should also be consulted.
An introduction to the PCHF Rule, with some specific resources for Pennsylvania food processors.
An introduction to the Food Innovation Center, a food business incubator and accelerator. The Center serves as a industry expert and development facility for small and very small processors in New Jersey.
An introductory page for Maryland food processors. It contains links to laws and statutes, marketing and business resources, and a resource directory.
An introduction to West Virginia University's Extension Service Food Production Safety Program, which seeks to work with food producers on growing and producing safe food in state
A site created by the University of Delaware's Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It includes links for upcoming food safety trainings.
An introduction to food safety resources an authorities at the University of Maine. This includes training opportunities and testing services.
An introduction to the PCHF Rule, with articles, videos, and online tools for New Hampshire food processors.
A collection of resources for food processors offered in partnership with the University of Vermont.
An introductory document for food manufacturers and processors in Vermont, with information on regulations, food safety training, and general education.
The home page for the Connecticut Food Association, and organization dedicated to Connecticut food producers and processors create a successful product and connect to buyers.
A web page summarizing helpful resources specifically for those who can foods. Includes links to preservation safety resources, reference books, and labs in Connecticut that can test food for safety.
A guide for home food processors on manufacturing and selling cottage foods in New Hampshire.
An introduction to the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Food Science Extension program, with resources for food safety planning, business planning, trainings, contacts for professionals, and getting started guides.
An overview of the necessary components of a food safety plan, including different types of hazards, which foods are covered by which regulations, and requirements for different types of facilities.
An English language video outlining what a food safety plan is, who needs to create a plan, and what the main components of this plan are
A guide to some of the essential components of developing a food safety plan, including flow diagrams, hazards, preliminary steps, prerequisite programs, and principles of food safety plans.
A series of short write ups explaining necessary components of food safety programs. These programs and policies can be part of a prerequisite program, good manufacturing practices, preventive controls, or critical control points. Topics covered include allergens, approved suppliers, calibration, cleaning and sanitizing, consumer complaints, control of foreign material, crisis management, environmental monitoring, food defense, internal audits, non-conforming products, hold and release programs, pest control, preventive maintenance, product release, product specifications, quality control, recall program, receiving program, training program, verification program, and water supply.
An overview of food safety resources to assist processors, especially those working with dairy, on developing, documenting, and implementing a safer food practice.
A Spanish language video outlining what a food safety plan is, who needs to create a plan, and what the main components of this plan are
A brief write-up discussing needed documentation for a facility to comply with the Preventive Controls rule
A blog post explaining the differences between HACCP and HARPC. It explains the role of HACCP in being FSMA compliant and the major components of a HARPC plan that producers must follow.
A quick questions and answers sheet that explains the basic components of the preventive controls rule and who needs to comply with them.
Am I affected by the new Food Safety Rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act?: A Flowchart for Farmers and Food Businesses
A flowchart that explains who is covered by the PC and Produce Rule and what that coverage entails
A step-by-step guide for facilities to register with the FDA, as required by FSMA
An overview of the major components of the Food Safety Modernization Act, including sections on Preventive Controls for Human Food and Food Safety plans in a questions and answers style format.
This question and answer sheet explains some of the definitions and activities that require a facility to register with the FDA.
A description of the FSMA Final rule for Preventive Controls for Human food, key requirements, assistance for industry, meetings and webinars, related guidance, supporting material, and contact information
The FSPCA training curriculum to guide processors though the PC rule. Topics covered include biological, chemical, physical, and economically motivated hazards, verification and validation procedures, record keeping procedures, process preventive controls, resources for food safety plans, sanitation preventive controls, supply chain preventive controls, recall plans, worksheets, templates, and examples.
Good Food Safety Practices: Managing Risks to Reduce or Avoid Legal Liability. Food Safety and Technology
An overview of the legal implications of foodborne illness and strategies to limit liability
Guidance for Industry: Determining the Number of Employees for Purposes of the "Small Business" Definition in Parts 117 and 507
A guidance publication to help processors determine the number of full time employees or equivalent for the purposes of being classified as a small business under FSMA
An extensive questions and answers sheet for food facilities to understand who, when, and how to register with the FDA as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
An interactive guide for users to answer questions that will help them understand if they must register with the FDA and how to categorize their food operations.
A Q&A sheet regarding who is covered by the PCHF rule and what that entails
Title 21: Chapter I: Subchapter B: Part 117: Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food
This is the full text of the federal regulations regarding good manufacturing practice, hazard analysis, and risk-based preventive controls for human food.
Understanding the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food
A document explaining some of the new regulations introduced in 21 CFR 117 (Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk Based Preventive Controls for Human Food), useful definitions, summaries of the different subparts, and includes examples of which subparts may apply to different foods.
Validation vs. Verification
Validation and Verification: A Practical, Industry-driven Framework Developed to Support the Requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011
A general interest paper outlining the Preventive Controls Summit 2013 and their guidance on developing effective strategies for meeting validation and verification requirements. The most relevant information begins on p. 413.
A guide of useful terms and common practices for conducting and interpreting thermal processing studies.
A series of short videos for appraising and controlling microbiological hazards. Topics covered include microbiological basics, testing for validation and verification, testing food lots, testing for processing control, anatomy of a sample plan, and analyzing results.
A brief article explaining the difference between verification and validation and their role in safe food processing.
A short video that explains the difference between validation and verification, as well as the role that both play in food safety.
Writing a SOP
A guide to writing sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOPs), with an explanation of the reasoning behind SSOPs, necessary components, tips for writing, and sample SSOPs to serve as guidance. Please note that this is an archived version of the article.
This article discusses the core components of a SSOP and what specific documents should include as part of a successful and current plan.
The purpose of this chapter of Draft Guidance for Industry: Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food is to explain how to establish and implement a food allergen program.
An extensive guide through food labeling requirements
An introduction to food allergies, including what the eight major allergens are, the need for labeling, other common allergens and allergenic substances, and consumer information regarding allergens.
A publication outlining all aspects of preventing and treating pests in a facility.
A video describing the need for a pest management system and how to protect against damage from pests.
A video describing the need for a pest management system and how to protect against damage from pests.
Scientific Study/Technical Reference
A calculator to help bakers evaluate the lethality of their salmonella kill step by based on time and temperature readings.
This website is a database of over 60,000 records of quantitative and predictive food microbiology. It allows you to both search microbial growth and survival curves and predict the growth or inactivation of microorganisms.
A guidance document for the control of Salmonella when manufacturing low-moisture foods.
Non-thermal or Alternative Food Processing Methods to Enhance Microbial Safety and Quality: Frequently Asked Questions
A question and answer sheet guiding processors through different types of non-thermal and alternative food processing and compares pathogen reduction in various types of produce and shellfish to compare efficacy between methods.
This bibliography provides an extensive list of publications about the microbial safety of nuts and sesame seeds that can help processors understand the risks of their food product and methods for risk reduction.
This bibliography provides an extensive list of publications about the microbial safety of wheat, flour, and cereal grains that can help processors understand the risks of their food product and methods for risk reduction.
A bibliography of authoritative resources on different treatment approaces to address microorganinisms on nuts and nut pastes.
Requisite Scientific Parameters for Establishing the Equivalence of Alternative Methods of Pasteurization
A detailed scientific examination of alternatives to pasteurization that still allow some level of food safety, possibly even equivalent to pasteurization
A lengthy guide examining the impact of salmonella and other pathogens on low-moisture foods, and demonstrating different methods to validate food safety plans targeted at controlling hazards associated with pathogens.
Validation of Antimicrobial Interventions for Small and Very Small Processors: A How-to Guide to Develop and Conduct Validations
An article that explains the major component of conducting an antimicrobial intervention assessment and how small or very small processors could perform one at their facility. This includes a step-by-step list of activities to perform and formulas for statistical calculations of the data that processors can collect.
This document explains the details of equipment cleaning and sanitizing procedures in food-processing and/or food-handling operations.
This is an introductory course on food safety and sanitary practices for commercial manufacturers of food products.This course teaches you the essentials of food safety, food microbiology, sanitary design principles for facilities and equipment, worker hygiene practices, correct procedures for cleaning and sanitizing, food defense and plant security, and more.
This short video explains what biofilms are, the threat that they pose to food safety, and how to mitigate them.
A detailed guide, with pictures, to wet sanitation procedures as part of an SSOP. This document also includes an employee training record at the bottom.
A database of cleaning chemicals and agents that have been approved for foods processing and manufacturing facilities in New York State.
A framework for developing and implementing a risk management plan with associated activities to ensure appropriate safety measures
A brief guide to some specific hazards, critical limits, and corrective actions for developing a HACCP plan for acidified foods. Note: This document was created prior to 21 CFR 117 and FDA documents should be consulted for additional guidance.
Describing a Hazard That Needs Control in Documents Accompanying the Food, as Required by Four Rules Implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: Guidance for Industry
A guide to hazard description, including which rules require it and how to describe hazards
An advisory guide to the background behind hazard analysis and critical control point principles and developing a HACCP plan. Note: This document was created prior to 21 CFR 117 and additional FDA documents should be consulted for further guidance.
A brief guide to the reasoning behind and key steps to developing a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points assessment. Note: This document was created prior to 21 CFR 117 and FDA documents should be consulted for additional guidance
A detailed guide to filth reduction and mitigation strategies, good agricultural practices, and hazard analysis critical control point strategies for spices
A guide for producers of shelf-stable acidified foods and low acid canned foods on completing FDA documentation
An overview of listeria impact, detection, and prevention for dairy producers and processors
A guidance publication describing the need to prevent listeria contamination in food and how to ensure a food establishment has appropriate safety measures in place
Guidance on Environmental Monitoring and Control of Listeria for the Fresh Produce Industry, Second Edition
A guide to preventing and controlling listeria monocytogenes, specifically when handling and processing fresh produce. Some topics covered include relevant federal regulation, sanitary facility design, creating an environmental monitoring plan, responding to listeria detection, food recalls, and case studies.
A fact sheet highlighting the need for refrigeration as a preservation tool for some foods, required temperatures to keep food safe, and other sanitation measures that processors can take to prevent contamination. Note: This document was created prior to 21 CFR 117 and FDA documents should be consulted for additional guidance.
NECAFS Partner Programs
An introduction to Penn State University Extension Program's page for commercial food processors, including informative articles, classes, news, and webinars. The page also offers contact information for local food safety experts and an introduction to FSMA.
A brief step-by-step guide to create an ice bath for calibrating a thermometer, including photos.
A visual guide to different types of thermometers, their pros and cons, how to use, calibrate, and sanitize.
A guide to purchasing, using, and maintaining a pH meter
A table that compiles references for surrogate organism treatments to kill pathogens with comparisons between process type, treatment, surrogate organism, target pathogens, matrix, and summary.
A short introduction for producers of acidified foods to developing a recall plan. Note: This document was created prior to 21 CFR 117 and FDA documents should be consulted for additional guidance.
A website explaining what the Reportable Food Registry is and who should use it. Includes a video guide.
A searchable database of food recalls issued by the FDA and USDA.
A Q&A sheet describing the FDA's authority for food recall, the definitions of adulteration, and how it would implement such a recall on processors.
A list of useful templates for establishing a food safety system, with a particular emphasis on dairy production.
A sample food safety plan filled out by a hypothetical omelet producer. [Appendix 3: Model Food Safety Plan Teaching Example]
A software program that allows users to input their information to create a food safety plan
A series of videos that offer step-by-step instructions on how to use the FDA's Food Safety Plan Builder software.
A collection of templates and educational documents specifically targeted at ice cream manufacturers, but that can be adapted for other foods. Some of the templates include: GMP training, allergen controls, record keeping, visitor policies, receiving logs, mock recalls, and HACCP.
A workbook detailing the process of safely producing and documenting juice and ciders. Includes sample sanitation checklists and food safety plans as well as information on how to perform a hazard analysis and preventive controls throughout production. [Food Safety Plans for Retail Juice and Cider Processors Step by Step: A Workbook to Guide You Through the Planning Process]
A collection of forms recommended by the FDA in developing a Food Safety Plan with additional useful guidance
A guidance document from the FDA containing recommendations for labeling sesame as an allergen. Please not that this guidance was drafted prior to the FASTER Act, which will require sesame disclosure on foods.
This article explains recent updates to allergen labeling requirements to include sesame labeling by January 1, 2023.
An introduction to the importance of envionmental sampling in detecting and sanitizing to reduce pathogens, with visual and written instructions on sampling.
Information provided to FDA investigators and inspectors to assist them in their daily activities. It includes instructions for environmental and product sampling.
This recorded webinar with transcript provides advice on how to assess an environmental monitoring program, implement best practices, and improve the overall effectiveness of a program.
A brief explainer for the forms and relevant regulation for low-acid canned food (LACF) producers seeking to comply with the preventive controls for human foods rule. This explainer includes instructions for electronic submission of registration forms.
A question and answer sheet that clarifies the differences between a retail food establishment and a farm mixed-type facility, which FSMA rules apply, and some exceptions to the rule.
This questions and answers sheet explains the differences between a primary production farm, secondary activities farm, and a mixed-type facility and which of these businesses is covered by the preventive controls rule.
A list explaining the conditions that must be met for farms of a certain size that perform certain actions to not need to follow the HARPC or SCP (supply chain program) portions of the preventive controls rule.
A brief FAQ sheet for Qualified Exempt Facilities explaining what steps facilities must take to be federally compliant, and which FSMA rules do not apply.
A guide that explains what constitutes a qualified facility and how this impacts the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule.
A guidance publication that explains the specific regulation for juice producers, as well as exemptions and information on complying with HACCP policies.
A brief write up that explains what a facility must do to be considered a qualified facility, with links to additional guidance, forms, and instructions
A guide for seafood processors on complying with FSMA, including which parts of the PCHF rule that they may be subject to.
Guidance for Industry: What You Need To Know About Establishment, Maintenance, and Availability of Records Small Entity Compliance Guide
A guidance publication explaining which records producers are required to maintain, how long they must be held, which records are exempt, who must keep records, and how the FDA will go about requesting records.
Small Entity Compliance Guide: What You Need to Know About Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food
A guide designed to provide small entity processors with the most essential aspects of FSMA's Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule.
Specialty Food Groups/Associations
The website for the National Farmers Union, a consortium of farmers and stakeholders. This page focuses on food safety within farms and includes a sample food safety plan, and food safety education resources.
A webpage with helpful links for Connecticut food processors including how to start a business and necessary resources for different types of foods.
A checklist for evaluating equipment and facility design for working with low-moisture foods. Includes checklists in English, Chinese, and German.
A checklist for evaluating equipment and facility design for working with meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy. Includes checklists in English and Chinese for the meat, poultry and seafood checklist.
A glossary and checklist offering safer equipment design to reduce risk of listeria in facilities that use conveyor belts, slicers, dicers, and peelers
A fact sheet describing and comparing some popular materials used to finish surfaces that need to be "smooth and cleanable" in processing areas
Additional Extension Programs/Regional Centers
A list with links to each state's university department of extension website.
A visual guide explaining who a preventive controls qualified individual is, how to qualify as one, and how a PCQI helps complete a food safety plan
A video explaining what it means to be a preventive controls qualified individual and what types of facility require a PCQI.
A Spanish language visual guide explaining who a preventive controls qualified individual is, how to qualify as one, and how a PCQI helps complete a food safety plan
A Spanish language video explaining what it means to be a preventive controls qualified individual and what types of facility require a PCQI.