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of the food supply chain—particularly in manufacturing and retailing—now recognize
the significant risk exposure their companies face and are ready to take action on
In the past, companies were limited by confusing and conflicting requirements
that made it hard to know which path to take. But now the stage is set to move forward. Regulatory requirements, more universally accepted principles and a high-level approach—such as the requirements catalog—are emerging that provide a clear
and consistent direction for the future. Meanwhile, standards are converging globally, making it easier and more efficient for companies to comply.
Companies that take a broad view of food safety, and that quickly invest in the
necessary skills, systems, processes and technologies, can more promptly respond to
or even avoid a food safety incident. They can also be better positioned to stay
ahead of and comply with H.R. 2749 or any other regulations that might come
down the pike.
A comprehensive food safety program can differentiate companies in the marketplace, increase revenue by meeting customer needs more effectively, and reduce
long-term effects by avoiding problems that could tarnish their reputation and require costly remediation. But, the overwhelming motivation to undertake such an
initiative is this: to do the right thing for consumers and the company.
Therefore, the time is ripe for companies in the food industry to assess the cur-
rent environment, build a refocused program and make use of technology to address
the complexities of the new regulatory reality. n
Frank Oehl is a partner at Deloitte &
Touche LLP and the national leader of Deloitte’s Food & Product Safety Services.
He has more than 20 years of experience
assisting clients in the consumer products
industry with risk management and regulatory compliance initiatives. Oehl can be
reached at email@example.com.
Darin Floyd is a senior manager at Deloitte & Touche LLP. With over 20 years of
experience in the consumer product and
retail industries, Floyd focuses on food
and product safety, as well as risk management, primarily with Fortune 1000
companies. Floyd can be reached at
Alan Fowler is a manager at Deloitte &
Touche LLP. He has more than 8 years of
experience working in the restaurant industry sector and in Deloitte’s Food &
Product Safety Services. Fowler can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Calvin, L. 2007. Outbreak linked to spinach
forces reassessment of food safety practices.
Amber Waves: The Economics of Food, Farming, Natural Resources, and Rural America,
2. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health Service. 2007. Progress
Review Food Safety. December 20, 2007.
4. Conroy, P., and D. Kutyla. 2008. What’s for
Dinner? Consumers Seek Answers about the
Food They Eat. Deloitte & Touche LLP report,
5. The Nielsen Company, December 2009.
6.. Swaminathan, N. 2008. Why is melamine in
baby formula, your food — and your pets’
meals? Scientific American’s 60-Second Science blog, September 24.
7. Zhang, J. 2009. Hoping to make food safer,
states decide to go it alone.
Wall Street Journal, May 12. online.wsj.com/
Read more about detection solutions in
our Signature Series articles on our Web
site at www.foodsafetymagazine.com/