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The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has had a profound impact on food companies. While large growers, packers, shippers, importers, and buyers have handled compliance with the new law relatively easily, smaller entities, especially importers and others that need to meet the demands of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP), might find themselves without the personnel or Qualified Individual (QI) necessary to monitor the food safety of their suppliers. These entities may be torn between two untenable solutions: either train a current employee with the food safety knowledge to function as their QI or hire a new employee that has

As auditing has become more and more common as a staple of food safety monitoring, some large companies (i.e., exporters, importers, shippers, etc.) with hundreds or thousands of suppliers have begun to conduct 2nd Party audits on those suppliers who do not undergo 3rd Party audits conducted by certification bodies. Furthermore, 2nd Party audits are one of the verification activities that allow companies to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and in particular with the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) for food imported into the United States. This can help both importers and exporters sell their products to

Azzule is pleased to announce that it is releasing a new Good Agricultural Practices addendum for PrimusGFS to meet the needs of growers, harvesters, and shippers that supply to McDonald’s. Azzule’s approved PrimusGFS Certification Bodies will begin performing the new McDonald’s GAP addendum in early 2020. Back in 2017, McDonald’s updated their GAP requirements for their fresh produce supply chain that required the produce processors to conduct McDonald’s 2nd party audits to the growers and harvesters. Azzule, in collaboration with McDonalds and their produce processors, have come to an agreement that growers and harvesters may include the McDonald’s GAP as

On October 21, 2019, Azzule will release its first web application, the PrimusLabs app. The Azzule web applications will offer users a single location in which to access all of the food safety activities that your operation performs.  In addition, Azzule is happy to build apps to assist you in managing your third party data and/or connectors to help your current systems interface with the Azzule platform. Both allow you to house all of your data in the same convenient location. The PrimusLabs app will offer PrimusLabs clients the opportunity to view their lab results as well as their audits

Through the collaborative efforts of Azzule and the Sustainable Food Group (SFG), the SFG Sustainability Standard™ is available for producers, handlers, and manufacturers of agricultural products interested in communicating sustainability performance to their buyers. The certification standard uses multiple internationally-recognized environmental, economic, and social welfare measures and may be added as an addendum to food safety audits, saving auditees time and money, or as a stand-alone assessment. The science-based Standard covers 16 categories recognizing best practices, performance metrics, and continuous improvement. Producers participating in other sustainability programs, including the National Organic Program, Sysco’s Sustainable/Integrated Pest Management Initiative, the Potato Sustainability Initiative,

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that 15% of the overall food supply in the United States is imported from other countries, including 55% of the fresh fruit and 32% of the fresh vegetables consumed domestically. The USDA and FDA are the federal agencies responsible for ensuring our food supply is safe. The USDA focuses on meat, poultry, and dairy products while the FDA assumes control of most of the rest, including fresh produce. With food constantly streaming across the borders, the FDA has a big job in ensuring that the produce entering the country is safe. The FDA

Don’t forget to check out the free document templates in the Manual Development Toolkit offered at the PrimusLabs website The various food safety templates (i.e., SOPs, forms, logs, etc.) that we offer can help you to develop the food safety documents you’ll need in your food safety program manual. Several have been updated and improved. The Toolkit provides guided templates to address all of the issues likely to confront you when developing your plan and preparing for your audit. The Manual Development Toolkit is divided into several categories to address all of the relevant parts of any audit – from

With the first Santa Barbara County Farm Day fast approaching on Saturday, September 28, 2019, PrimusLabs is beginning its preparations to be one of the event’s 14 hosts. Santa Barbara County Farm Day is organized by Students for Eco-education and Agriculture (SEEAG), a Ventura County non-profit organization that has been running a similar event in and around Ventura for the past seven years. In addition to the Saturday event from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., SEEAG is also sponsoring a Farm-to-Table Dinner on Friday, September 27, 2019. That event will be held at Tres Hermanas Vineyard and Winery from 5:00 to

In response to client requests, growing buyer expectations, FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and the increasing popularity of the various Blockchain systems, Azzule has been updating and enhancing the Azzule Platform, specifically the Azzule Supply Chain Program’s (SCP) capabilities. While continuing to improve our clients’ means of controlling the movement of information to their own customers, Azzule has taken this opportunity to ease their compliance review with a series of new products. Toward that goal, Azzule released our new Operations Module on August 6th. The Operations Module is designed to help clients view and manage their own

In order to proactively address the ever-changing needs of various food industries, our microbiological laboratory is now proud to offer tests for viral and parasitic contaminants. PrimusLabs has added cyclospora, hepatitis A, and norovirus tests to its list of microbiological services.   Cyclospora cayetanensis – protozoan parasite Cyclospora is a protozoan parasite responsible for the gastrointestinal disease cyclosporiasis. Previously thought to be mostly a foreign disease, 2018 marked the first Cyclospora case confirmed to originate from domestically grown produce. This parasite has been found in vegetable trays, salad mixes, and various imported fresh produce. As this parasite has become more of a