Here’s a compilation of some of the biggest stories affecting grocers for April 2017.
Meat Grinding Log Fines Begin
USDA FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service) has begun enforcing penalties for supermarkets that are in violation of the new meat grinding log regulation. The rule became effective on June 20, 2016, and enforcement began on October 1, 2016. The Department decided not to enforce any penalties for the first six months of the rule’s effective date, through March 31, 2017. NGA (National Grocers Association) has been in touch with FSIS and hopes to have more information soon regarding what they have decided to do regarding penalties for non-compliance. On an NGA webinar last summer, FSIS staff indicated that the Office of Investigation, Enforcement and Audit would re-evaluate enforcement next steps on April 1, 2017. NGA is seeking more information on penalties that they can share with industry soon.. The constituent update from FSIS announcing plans for inspectors to begin to verify compliance on April 1, 2017. Review their announcement by clicking here.
Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Update
With the implementation deadline just weeks away for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) menu labeling regulation, National Grocers Association (NGA) sent a letter to the acting FDA Commissioner, Stephen Ostroff, requesting that the deadline be delayed due to the significant amount of confusion that remains around the rule. The rule is set to be implemented on May 5, 2017. NGA continues to reach out to the FDA in the hopes of obtaining written confirmation that licensors and marketing alliances will not be covered under the regulation.
In addition, NGA continues to implore the Health and Human Services Department to suspend the rule and allow the FDA to reexamine the regulation and incorporate the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017 (CSNDA) into the new writing, while maintaining our support for the CSNDA and pushing for its consideration in the House and Senate.
NGA will continue to monitor the issue and in the meantime, if you have any questions regarding Menu Labeling regulations or about the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, please reach out to Matt Foley with NGA.
Annual Refresher Training Required for all SNAP Authorized Retailers
As an authorized SNAP retailer, USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) expects all authorized SNAP vendors to be able to demonstrate that they maintain an established operational compliance policy and program to prevent SNAP violations from occurring. Training is required for new owners AND new employees within 30 days of employment. USDA FNS also requires refresher training to be conducted once a year. Should a SNAP violation occur, it’s very important that the retailer can show documentation of the training for both new employees and the annual refresher training.
To review UDSA’s training expectation, Click Here. You can also copy a list of FNS (Food & Nutrition Services) Retailers Store Training Information by Clicking Here.