FSPCA Background FAQ

What is the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA)?

The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) is a public-private partnership of key stakeholders from the food industry, academia and government. The Alliance seeks to develop an industry-oriented food safety training program to help firms producing human and animal food for the U.S. market to comply with preventive controls regulations required by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

What prompted the creation of the FSPCA?

The food safety preventive controls regulations that will be issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will require facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for humans and animals put measures in place to help prevent foodborne illness by implementing preventive controls for hazards. The FDA funded FSPCA to develop training that will help industry, particularly small- and medium-sized companies, to comply with the new preventive controls rules.

How was the FSPCA created?

FSPCA was created from a one-year, $1 million partnership grant funded by the FDA Office of Foods to the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety and Health (IIT IFSH). The FSPCA Organizing Committee consisting of key stakeholders representing food industry trade organizations, state and federal regulatory agencies and extension specialists from academic institutions was formed and the FSPCA Coordinator was appointed. In addition, the Organizing Committee, the FSPCA Coordinator and ad hoc advisors held discussions resulting in the development of the management structure of the Alliance and established the Executive and Steering Committees. Ad hoc advisors were selected based on their experience in previous industry-wide alliances such as the Seafood HACCP Alliance and/or with expertise in the development and delivery of seafood and juice HACCP training.

What is the mission of the FSPCA?

To support safe food production by developing and delivering educational programs that assist the food industry in complying with the preventive controls regulations that will be promulgated in response to the FSMA.

How will the FSPCA meet its mission?

The Alliance will develop, deliver and facilitate training curriculum for food industry personnel and state and federal regulators. Modules will also include train-the- trainer instruction.

What are the scope and roles of the FSPCA?

The FSPCA includes human and animal foods regulated by the FDA. The FSPCA will focus on all major food commodities and sectors, with the exception of those excluded by the preventive controls regulations.

The roles of the Alliance are to:

  • Develop a standardized training curriculum on preventive controls for food.
  • Serve as the network hub for preventive controls knowledge database.
  • Assist FDA in disseminating to the food industry the science and technical element relevant to the hazard analysis and preventive controls aspects of the preventive controls regulations.
  • Serve as a bridge between FDA and food companies to communicate technical elements of preventive controls regulations.
  • Develop example control models for major industry sectors.
  • Provide science-based interpretation of hazard analysis and preventive controls for major industry sectors.
  • Help provide guidance for preventive controls for the food industry.

What are the main outcomes and deliverables of FSPCA?

The primary outcomes and deliverables of FSPCA include:

  • Development and delivery of a standardized hazard analysis preventive controls training curriculum. The training curriculum will be made available through FDA and IIT IFSH’s websites to all who wish to use it as a basis for training.
  • Development of a technical assistance network for the U.S. food industry, with emphasis on small- and medium-sized companies.
  • Assist in development of commodity/industry sector-specific hazards guides.
  • Identification and translation of knowledge gaps and needs assessment for further enhancement in preventive controls.
  • Evaluation of efficacy and impact of FSPCA programs.

What is the structure of FSPCA?

The governing organizational components of FSPCA include the FSPCA Coordinator, Executive Committee, Steering Committee and various subcommittees and task-, commodity- and sector-specific Working Groups formed to conduct specific needs. The FSPCA Steering Committee includes members representing food industry trade organizations, state and federal regulatory agencies and extension specialists from academic institutions. The Alliance is managed by IIT IFSH and by the FSPCA Coordinator with the aid of the Executive Committee and ad hoc advisors.

What is the Status of the FSPCA Working Groups?

The FSPCA Working Groups have been formed and are currently filled to capacity. If the need arises, the FSPCA will make a call for additional Working Group volunteers.

Will there be a Working Group specifically focused on a commodity or product in which my company is interested?

Five initial working groups have been created by FSPCA:

  • Hazard Identification and Preventive Controls Core Curriculum Development
  • Food Categories and Representative Processing
  • Allergen Management and Control
  • Sanitation, Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Environmental Monitoring
  • Supply Chain and Ingredient Management

Additional FSPCA Working Groups will be formed as deemed necessary by the Steering Committee and will consist of members nominated by (or appointed in consultation with) the Steering Committee.

How can I participate in FSPCA activities?

Although FSPCA Working Groups are currently filled to capacity, there may be a need for additional FSPCA volunteers in the future. If the need arises, the FSPCA will make a call for additional Working Group volunteers who are subject experts in their field.