In the food production industry, it’s important not only to stop foodborne disease outbreaks once they occur, but also to try preventing them from happening in the first place.

Long-term disease outbreak prevention takes the action of many people at each stage of food production from the farm to the table. Whether it’s farmers using safe agricultural practices on their produce farms in the production stage, food processing facilities using safe equipment such as antimicrobial wiring systems in the processing stage, or distributors encouraging food-safety education and proper handling, everyone has a role in preventing outbreaks.

Meeting FSMA and HARPC requirements

The public health burden of foodborne illnesses is largely preventable. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2016 to enable the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to focus more on preventing food safety problems rather than reacting to bacterial outbreaks after they occur. 

FSMA builds a formal system of collaboration with other government agencies, both domestic and foreign and recognizes that all food-safety agencies need to work together to achieve public health goals.

FSMA gives the FDA broad enforcement powers to monitor safety and compliance and focuses on four key areas: 

  • preventive controls;
  • inspection and compliance;
  • imported food safety;
  • response.

As a key component of FSMA, all food processing facilities must implement a Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC) plan. The seven steps of a HARPC plan include the following:

  • identify hazards;
  • implement risk-based preventive controls;
  • monitor the effectiveness of the plan;
  • take corrective actions as needed;
  • verify HARPC plans are working properly;
  • keep records related to the food safety/prevention control system;
  • reanalyze the plan whenever a significant change may increase a hazard, or every three years.

A thorough review of a facility’s electrical wiring systems can reveal numerous opportunities for plant managers to satisfy the HARPC provision of FSMA and implement risk-based preventive controls that improve safety and minimize hazards. 

A low-cost solution to FSMA and HARPC regulations

Ensuring a large, fast-paced food or beverage facility meets the FSMA requirements can feel like a daunting task. Turning to innovative, low-cost solutions, such as installing wiring systems with embedded antimicrobial protection, empowers your facility to meet FSMA standards and cut down on foodborne pathogens.

Electrical cords and components with embedded antimicrobial protection store antimicrobial growth inhibitors directly inside the products themselves, providing protection on the inner and outer surfaces. Those additives are gradually released to the surface, providing continuous, long-lasting protection against the growth of bacteria, molds, mildews and fungi.

Research shows that wiring with embedded antimicrobial protection reduces the amount of E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria by more than 99 percent.

Achieving optimal food safety

Food safety is best achieved when a food processing company works to prevent bacterial outbreaks before they occur, rather than after a product has been recalled because of contamination. For a low-cost solution to meeting FSMA regulations and preventing bacterial outbreaks, consider installing wiring systems with built-in antimicrobial protection. NP