Throughout the food safety and testing process, food verification plays an important role in ensuring that the production done meets the requirements set by both the regulatory bodies and the standards set. It is not only important to create a perfect recall protocol, but it is equally critical for maintaining product quality and ensuring that no dangerous chemicals or toxins are released into the food we eat. To ensure that this occurs, several important points must be considered by all parties involved. There can be mistakes made during every step of the procedure and being able to identify them beforehand, and then correcting these can greatly assist the recall process and reduce the number of food recalls conducted each year.
First, all parties involved in a recall must agree on a recall procedure. This includes manufacturers, processors, distributors and suppliers as well as retailers. There must be a regular schedule established to identify potentially dangerous food products and alert people who may be at risk of consuming them. The procedures should be documented as well as clearly defined so that the recall can be effectively carried out.
It is important to note that the manufacturer, distributor or supplier must not release a food item to a retailer unless it has been properly inspected and the contents have been cleared by the FDA. If a product is released to the market without FDA clearance, there may be serious implications for that company and their consumers. Consumers may have their food items returned or the manufacturer and/or distributor may be held liable and may even be forced to pay damages. Therefore, all parties involved must follow strict guidelines in terms of manufacturing and distribution to avoid these issues.
Next, all food items must be thoroughly inspected prior to release. Inspectors are normally part of an approved food facility and are responsible for ensuring that the food items are clean, sanitised and free from contamination. They must also identify any damage or potential problems with the product. All damaged food items must be immediately removed and properly disposed of.
Once the food items have been inspected, they must undergo packaging and label review. The main objective is to ensure that the food items are safe for consumption and comply with labeling requirements. Food manufacturers and distributors need to ensure that labels are clear and accurate and adhere to the required guidelines set by the FDA. This will help to prevent fraudulent and harmful sales to consumers.
There are various means by which food verification can be carried out. Some methods include sampling at the source and/or at the retail or warehouse outlet. Sampling at the source allows laboratory personnel to determine the type and severity of contamination in food items. This method is considered most effective in cases where the food items have been handled at room temperature or if temperatures have been controlled. Sampling at the warehouse or retail outlet will allow for temperature control and also for hygienic reasons.