With the finalization of the FDA’s FSMA Preventive Control Rules, new FDA outbreak testing technologies and increasingly complex supply chain controls, spices and other low moisture foods are becoming increasingly identified as outbreak contributors. Spices are frequently found to carry salmonella, are full of physical adulterants, are often not identified as allergens, may be impacted by lead and, when not carefully controlled throughout the supply chain, represent a bacterial growth potential that can end up in processed foods. Spice handling operations are subject to environmental facility controls, environmental sampling and test, process validation, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGPM), sanitary transportation rules, as well as packaging, labelling and other controls.
Virtually all processed foods use spices to enhance flavors. Most spices used in the United States are imported, often from unknown, unregistered and unregulated farms prior to moving to larger handling and packing centres in the U.S. Most spices are grown and imported from tropical environments and are hand harvested with little or no food safety controls. Knowing where and how spices are harvested and handled and the basics of spice food safety will prepare your company to prevent outbreaks that can destroy your company. If your company is involved with spices in any way, you need to assure that you have appropriate food safety controls in place. With new reports becoming public, it is obvious that in spite of being classified “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS), spices are not as safe as previously thought.
This session will cover outbreaks as well as basic microbial reduction techniques, drying, testing, preventive controls, sanitation operation procedures, water issues, pest controls, storage, facility controls (air/dust/humidity), and other basic spice handling food safety considerations.
Dr. John M. Ryan is currently working with various food and RFID/Traceability suppliers and a variety of sensor providers to implement an international RFID produce supply chain track and trace and food safety system between the State of Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific Region. He is a the quality assurance administrator over two branches within the department: Commodities and Measurement Standards which include labs used to test various processed foods and primary involvement with food safety. He previously implemented the nations' first RFID food traceability (farm-distribution-retail) project.