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Difficulties in Meeting FSVP Requirements

  • 7 December 2018
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 3674
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Difficulties in Meeting FSVP Requirements

Aurora Saulo (TPSS) writes a column called “Global Interests” in Food Quality and Safety Magazine that focuses on food safety and quality issues of worldwide concern. Her most recent column spotlights the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP), which ensures that imported foods are held to the same level of public food safety protection as foods produced in the U.S. and are not adulterated or mislabeled with respect to allergenic ingredients. As she explains, the U.S. imports approximately 19 percent of its total food supply, some $115.5 billion of animal and plant foods and $21.8 billion of beverages excluding liquors in 2017, and this level has been growing. One of the main factors contributing to this growth in imported foods is the dramatic change in food preferences towards more ethnically diverse choices. The FSVP, which was established in 2015, requires importers to conduct risk-based verification activities, changing the focus in food contamination from reactive to preventive. Standard FSVP requirements include a hazard analysis of each imported food or food type, evaluation of foreign suppliers’ performance and the risk posed by the imported food, foreign supplier approval, appropriate supplier verification and related activities done by “Qualified Individuals,” corrective action when necessary, and keeping records of the FSVP activities. Not all food sellers are required to show that they have complied with all these requirements, but as a food safety trainer, Aurora says she encourages all sellers to have a food safety plan, even if their company might be eligible for exemptions or modified requirements.

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