Food safety, first and foremost. | 5 facts to help with FDA facility registration renewal | Food Labeling 101 for Retailers
December 19, 2018
FMI Fresh
Fresh insights
Food safety, first and foremost.
Food safety, first and foremost.

What an exciting end to 2018. Our industry prioritized food safety as first and foremost. The second consumer advisory on romaine lettuce was a devastating blow to a busy Thanksgiving shopping season, but thanks to our members' calls, emails and feedback, we learned much about the scope of this product withdrawal -- from prepared foods to catering platters to seafood displays. We understood from you that navigating the supply chain disruption also redirected an enormous amount of labor and created confusion among partners who would have been otherwise in sync during a formal recall procedure.

While removing the product was the right thing to do in the interest of public health and maintaining shopper trust, my colleague Dr. Hilary Thesmar advises that thanks to whole genome sequencing, we will see more of these outbreaks in the future. Awareness is a good thing for food safety, but it will force companies to look more closely at their supply chains and routine practices for catering and displays.

A subgroup of FMI's Food Protection Committee spent two days in Washington, D.C., developing recommendations for the industry, Food & Drug Administration and Congress as we move forward in dealing with these concerns. The recommendations will be shared with the full Food Protection Committee and the FMI board-level Food Safety Committee at their meetings in January. At the same time, FMI has been in daily contact with our colleagues across industry associations to share common goals with the agencies and the administration.

Late Tuesday, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control released updates which narrowed the scope of the advisory and indicated that a positive sample for the outbreak strain was found at a specific farm in California. In the advisory, the FDA noted that additional romaine lettuce shipped from other farms could also be implicated in the outbreak. We will continue to provide updates to our board, committees and relevant food professionals to ensure the lines of communication remain open.

Food safety is inherent to the work we do and it remains our priority. Our industry diligently works to create a safe eating experience while also meeting consumers' desire for new and innovative fresh and foodservice items. As always, we will maintain our promise to consumers to offer the safest, most nutritious and affordable food supply in the world.

I am enthusiastic about our work together in 2019 and witnessing the fresh-food differentiation strategies you will execute for brick and mortar and even online ordering. We'll continue to address these issues in a series of research reports and findings queued up for the new year, and I look forward to sharing the results with you.

The fresh word
5 facts to help with FDA facility registration renewal
5 facts to help with FDA facility registration renewal
It's that time again. It's Q4 of 2018, which means food facilities must renew their registration with the Food and Drug Administration. Renewal of facility registration occurs during Q4 -- Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 -- of even numbered years. If you haven't done so already, the current registration renewal for 2018 will be available through Dec. 31. Learn more.
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Food Labeling 101 for Retailers
Food Labeling 101 for Retailers
FMI introduced a newly updated resource for members: the Food Labeling Guide for Retailers. The FMI outside counsel, Brian Eyink and Veronica Colas with Hogan Lovells, provide an overview of the basic labeling requirements that apply to foods sold in retail grocery stores, from packaged foods to deli items packaged and portioned upon customer request, bulk customer self-service items like an olive bar and foods prepared in-store. Recording | Presentation
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Potatoes are gluten free and vegan, making them the perfect ingredient to match growing consumer trends. Instead of regular noodles, use spiralized potato noodles as a gluten-free, plant-based deli salad alternative.
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6 trends from Kroger that support US grocery shopping trends
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US Grocery Shopper Trends reveals grocery shopping is becoming America's new pastime, with 85% of our population claiming to be active grocery shoppers. These shoppers are demanding radical personalization like our industry has never seen before. Each shopper has his or her own food purchasing equation -- a set of personally nuanced factors taken into consideration when grocery shopping -- and the individual's shopping equation is as unique as his or her fingerprints. Learn more.
Launching a roadmap for the seafood industry
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Available in a wide range of fresh, frozen and dehydrated forms, potatoes are the new go-to ingredient when it's time to innovate. Looking for more information on how to use potatoes in your products? Check out our potato resources, which have all the details on using potato ingredients for gluten-free breadings and coatings, in baked goods, as fillers and binders, and more.
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