Accreditation of third-party auditors is critical to upholding consistent food safety standards for U.S. produce consumers, and it’s equally important for domestic fruit and vegetable production and production in all the countries that export to the U.S. market.
That’s a huge, complicated objective that could potentially involve numerous audit entities in multiple regions, so we’ve got to work with the FDA and industry partners to help ensure that the audit process is as efficient as possible.
Just as we’ve done with the FDA’s earlier rule proposals on produce safety and preventive controls, United Fresh is conducting a deliberative education and review process for the draft rules on imported foods and third-party auditor accreditation.
In the near future, United plans to host Web seminars on each of the proposed rules with FDA.
You’ll have a chance to go to the FDA offices and talk face to face with FDA staff during United’s Washington Public Policy Conference, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.
Now that we finally have four proposed rules to consider, it will be an excellent opportunity to hear what FDA has been hearing about all four proposed rules and to share your comments with FDA.
David Gombas is senior vice president for food safety and technology for the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association.
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