2013 Steering Committee Meeting Summaries

January 25, 2013

Starting in January, 2013 FSPCA management activities will be expedited through two separate but inter-related tracks:  Curriculum Development will be managed by Katie Swanson, and Outreach will be managed by Purnendu C. Vasavada.  The Editorial Subcommittee has finalized a framework for structuring the curriculum, and review of course content is underway.  To ensure content accuracy and relevance, the Editorial Subcommittee will re-engage the Working Groups in the future.  The outreach program will engage the university extension community, and other subject matter experts to provide training and technical support to small food companies.  The Alliance Continuation Committee continues to develop a protocol for training, certificate maintenance, revenue stream. etc. 

March 13, 2013

The Alliance Continuation Subcommittee is tasked with developing a business approach to sustain the Alliance.  As such, the subcommittee has been researching and reviewing the fees and services of other HACCP related Alliance models.  The Alliance Continuation Subcommittee has also been discussing the value of various training approaches as well as the value of a training certificate.  The Editorial Subcommittee has been working steadily on the curriculum with the goal of completing a draft curriculum by August, 2013.  Work is currently progressing on templates, product descriptions, and analysis models.  It was reiterated that the function of Alliance Outreach is to provide training and technical support to the food industry which includes identifying individuals to provide assistance to the food industry.

April 10, 2013

The Editorial Subcommittee has been meeting on a weekly basis and progressing steadily with curriculum development.  The current goal is to have a draft curriculum completed by August, 2013.  The Alliance Continuation Subcommittee has been discussing the value of a training certificate, and also the development of a business plan.  Alliance Outreach activities include developing a list of trainers from universities and extension programs, and also a cadre of individuals that will be able to provide assistance to food processors.  In addition, the need for IFSH Web Portal containing templates and documents for best practices was discussed.

May 8, 2013

A core group of the Editorial Subcommittee has been formed to ensure the draft curriculum is consistent with the proposed rule.  Draft documents are then shared with the entire Editorial Subcommittee for questions, corrections, and comments.  Work on the Alliance Business Plan is progressing steadily, and specific aspects of the plan are now being researched.  Alliance Outreach will encompass a two pronged approach: 1) Education and Training, and 2) Technical Assistance.  The Steering Committee will convene at a face-to-face meeting in Washington D.C. on June 6-7.

June 6-7, 2013

The Committee engaged in a detailed discussion of Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of the curriculum, and also discussed the Food Safety Plan.  Volunteers will be selected as part of the Peer Review process for each chapter.  Outreach activities may include the creation of a technical document depository managed by IFSH.  The capabilities of IFSH's distance learning room were outlined, and the number of potential trainees were estimated.

July 10, 2013

Chapters 1-5 have been updated based on Steering Committee input, and will be peer reviewed.  The Peer review process will consist of a minimum of three reviewers for each chapter.  Ideally, the reviewers will come from 1) state agencies, 2) academia, and include 3) subject matter experts.  Food Safety Experts must be identified from Extensions Programs for the initial training; a pilot training session will be administered to the Steering Committee and select Working Group Members.  Various funding strategies for the initial cadre of trainers were discussed as well as the creating of a depository for technical documents.

August 21, 2013

A report on Executive Committee activities was made that included the announcement that Donna Garren will be serving as the Vice Chairman of the Steering Committee / Executive Committee.  The Curriculum and Peer Review Process continues and it is expected that Hazard Analysis chapter will have the most comments.  There have been consistent comments that the current food model is too complicated and should be replaced with a simplified version.  The committee is also looking at a decision tree that will assist small to mid-sized food processors.  Alliance continuation discussions revolve around forms, fees, and costs.  Highlights include a possible certificate fee and hard copy materials.  Alliance outreach activities continue on a variety of fronts.

September 11, 2013

The Curriculum and Peer Review process is ongoing and the first five chapters are out for review.  Comments are being incorporated as they are being received.  The pasta salad example has been deemed too complicate, and is being replaced by an omelet example.  The allergen chapter is being worked on, and a chapter on Supplier Control is being considered.   It is expected that a draft curriculum will be completed on February 14th, but will not be finalized until the final rules are published.  The Alliance Continuation Subcommittee is focusing on 3 revenue areas for development: 1) a training certificate system for individuals, 2) developing and administering protocols to recognize trainers, and 3) identifying revenue sources to sustain training and technical outreach.  Alliance outreach activities have continued with the completion of two successful meetings in July.

November 13, 2013

The committee reviewed outreach activities connected with the following areas: technical assistance, the identification of trainers, consultation with other food safety programs, train-the-trainer courses, pilot programs, and course material vetting.  The committee was briefed on Executive Committee activities including a discussion on changes to the website. The Steering Committee discussed the curriculum and Peer Review Progress pertaining to Chapters 1-5, the Hazard Analysis Chapter, the Process Control Plan, Supplier Controls, Recall Plan, and Current Page count.  An Alliance Continuation Report was given to discuss the Recommendation Report, and the Draft Business Plan and Protocol.

December 9-10, 2013

The Steering Committee and Working Group Chairs and Vice Chairs met face-to-face in Washington D.C. and were briefed on Committee and Subcommittee updates.

The Executive Committee reported that John Allan, IDFA was appointed and Nancy Doyle, FDA was reinstated to the Steering Committee.  In addition, the Executive Committee will serve as the short term Web Presence Subcommittee along with Dawn Johnson and David Griesemer.

The Editorial Subcommittee provided an overview of the progress to date on the curriculum. The Preface and Chapters 1-5 have been through peer review and are ready for a “Shakedown”. Chapters 6, 10, and 11 drafts were shared with the Steering Committee and edits were recorded. The goal is to have all the chapters ready for the “Shakedown”. In regard to additional modules, it was concluded that FSPCA should not develop allergen, sanitation or environmental monitoring modules because other sources of such information are available. However, the group agreed that a foreign supplier verification module would be useful.

The Continuation Subcommittee outlined outreach activities and reviewed the Recommendation Report as well as updates to the Business Plan, the Operating Protocol, and Cash Flow Projection.

A short Animal Foods update was given. Chapters 1-6 are being tweaked for animal foods proposed rule; sanitation is included in the proposed rule but allergens are not. An email has been established for questions about the Animal Foods proposed rule: animalpc@fda.hhs.gov