Lee Industries Ramps Up Expert Solutions as Impact of FSMA Unfolds

Philipsburg, Pa. - Lee Industries is getting ahead of itself, in the best interests of its customers and food processors. In January, the President signed into law the most sweeping reform of food safety regulation since the 1930s. Known as the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the new law contains provisions and additional enforcement methods designed to put consumer food safety issues front-and-center.

While the source of actual funding is still uncertain, the law will affect food processors in many critical areas. Lee Industries, the leading manufacturer of quality stainless steel processing vessels and sanitary certified valves, has identified several key areas that may significantly impact its customers, and is actively providing process solutions for both the near term-and further down the production line.

HACCP and risk-based preventive controls
The new law requires every food processor to conduct an evaluation to identify hazards that may be associated with its facilities, develop a written analysis of the hazards and have a written plan to identify and implement preventive controls. "While this is similar to HACCP programs that are already mandatory," notes Greg Wharton, vice president of sales at Lee Industries, "Under FMSA, controls must include sanitation, training, environmental controls and a recall contingency plan, among other elements. In short, the FDA wants to know how you plan to prevent contamination, and what exactly you are going to do if problems occur."

Registration of food facilities and inspection of records
"The bottom line," says Wharton "is that a facility's FDA registration has to be renewed every two years, and more potential FDA inspections are a distinct possibility." In addition, the FDA will now be able to suspend the registration of a facility if it determines that food manufactured there has a "reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences" or worse. That site must allow the FDA access to records. A suspended facility cannot introduce any food products into interstate or intrastate commerce.

More frequent inspections
Under the new law, the FDA will increase the frequency of inspections at all food-processing facilities. More specifically, "high risk" domestic facilities will be inspected at least once in the first five-years after FSMA goes into effect, and once every three years after that. "Low-risk" facilities must be inspected at least once every seven-years.

Mandatory recalls by the FDA
"This is probably the most chilling issue a manufacturer can face," says Wharton. "And it went into effect immediately. Until now, the FDA could only ask that foods be recalled. Now, the agency can order a food product recalled if there is a reasonable probability the food is adulterated or misbranded and its use "will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals."

Wharton suggests that every food processor identify partners and suppliers who not only understand the implications of FSMA, but can also provide the best solutions to its business impact. "Lee Industries is the expert resource that food processors can rely on for the design and manufacturing of stainless steel process equipment and sanitary certified valves to meet the upcoming challenges," he explains.

o Lee Industries offers a full line of sanitary and jacketed, stainless steel Ball Valves that are #A Sanitary certified, USDA approved, and are designed for corrosion-resistant, sanitary applications.
o Lee Industries, Inc. recently received the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems Certification. As part of the certification, Lee Industries created a new Quality Manual and implemented a Quality Management System for the manufacturing of stainless steel ball valves and stainless steel processing equipment.
o Lee Industries manufactures custom designed processing equipment, including kettles, tanks, and agitation systems for the Food, Pharmaceutical, and Cosmetic industries.

For more information, contact the Lee Sales Team at sales@leeind.com or visit www.leeind.com.

About Lee Industries, Inc.:

With equipment in service throughout the world and over 80 years of experience, Lee Industries, Inc. is a leader in the design and manufacturing of stainless steel process equipment and fluid transfer systems for the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and chemical industries.

Contact: Michelle A. Drager, APR

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