Dear Colleagues --
Today FDA held a brief foods stakeholders call regarding COVID-19. This, we believe, was to receive general comments and questions as FDA continues to develop and refine food safety guidance and policy during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
See the link to details here. We encourage you to review the three links found under "additional information" which provide useful understanding of FDA's current thinking with respect to safety of the U.S. food supply, guidance for business operations (which is a very important consideration right now), guidance on what to do if a facility worker is confirmed to have COVID-19, and management of sick employees.
Of particular importance will be compliance with all aspects of FSMA. FSMA became law following the disastrous melamine episode in 2008. COVID-19 now represents an even more urgent and far more wide-scale issue that will require extreme diligence and adherence to the core rules such as preventive controls for human foods and foreign supplier verification.
We anticipate announcing UNPA member update/call-in sessions led by Larisa Pavlick, our VP of Global Regulatory & Compliance, who can help answer your ongoing questions with regard to management of COVID-19 risks based on FSMA rules and practices. For those of you who have completed your PCQI, FSVP and IA training, we salute you. You will now be called on to confirm that everything you have learned is put into practice in your company operations and procedures.
No doubt new and unforeseen challenges and risks will arise. We will do our best to stay on top of this and provide ongoing guidance to help you manage a very uncertain horizon line, both in duration of time and challenges to be faced. We all know this is an unprecedented time, and we will do all we can to support you in continuing to solve raw material shortages, supply chain tie-ups, manufacturing challenges, and consumer-facing concerns and issues on which you will likely need guidance.
We wish you continued good health, and together we will sort this one out.