Validation and Verification of Food Safety Control Measures


Food manufacturers are responsible for developing and implementing a food safety program that's scientifically effective (validation) in controlling hazards and complies with current food safety programs (verification).
Validation and verification are vital food safety components, but food manufacturers often confuse the function and meaning of these within their programs. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gives FDA the energy to scientifically evaluate food safety programs and preventive controls implemented in a food establishment. The law focuses more on preventing food safety issues, including providing documentary evidence that methods used can lead to safer product, rather than relying primarily on reacting to foodborne disease outbreaks.

FSMA?s framework is applicable to all or any segments of food production that the FDA regulates. Validation and verification cover an easy area and can be employed to all segments of manufacturing. Many food safety professionals use validation and verification interchangeably, but each has a different meaning and purpose. This short article describes their functions from a kill-step perspective.


Validation.
Although most foods undergo a supposed kill step at the point of production (such as for example baking, roasting, extruding, or frying) these control points lack scientific validation. Validation is a preemptive scientific evaluation that delivers documented evidence a particular process (e.g., cooking, frying, chemical treatment, extrusion, etc.) is with the capacity of consistently delivering a product that meets predetermined specifications. In other words, it?s an accumulation of scientific proof a particular process involving chemical, physical, and biological inputs is consistently delivering a desired effect to guarantee the destruction of pathogenic microorganisms. This is often expressed as ?log reduction.?

Logarithmic reduction reduces the count of pathogenic organisms by a specific exponent, such as reducing the count from 106 (1,000,000) bacterial cells to 101 (10 bacterial cells). According to FSMA?s proposed rule, it?s the collection and evaluation of scientific and technical information to determine whether the food safety plan, when properly implemented, will effectively control identified hazards.

Validation proof can come from the variety of sources such as for example peer-reviewed scientific literature, mathematical modeling, or regulatory resources. When such information isn't Food verification site available or sufficient, in-house challenge studies can be used. In most situations, validation is conducted ahead of implementing a fresh method or process. Activities include challenge testing, shelf-life testing, etc. A kill-step validation may be the only way to prove a particular process is consistently delivering the required lethal effect to guarantee the destruction of pathogenic microorganisms.

The major steps involved in validation include: determining the method(s), choosing the surrogate or pathogenic microorganism, identifying worst-case scenarios, executing the validation study by way of a qualified microbiologist or food safety expert, collecting and analyzing data, and preparing a validation report.

The validation report will include the next sections: introduction, contact information, background information, general information regarding the product, parameters studied, information on equipment (type and make) used, method used, microbial strains used, results, date of the validation study, detailed discussion, significance, etc. Also, the validation report ought to be written in sufficient detail so the purpose, significance, and outcome of the analysis are clearly understood by other food safety experts. After the process validation is completed, the facility must establish verification procedures.

Verification.
This is actually the activity or activities conducted to ensure that the implemented processes are effectively and consistently carried out. In other words, it's the confirmation that you will be doing everything you intended or planned to accomplish and that it is effective. In line with the FSMA proposed rule, these are activities, apart from monitoring, that establish the validity of the meals safety plan and that the machine is operating according to the plan. Verification activities range from the meals safety plan review; walk-through; document review; testing; internal auditing; confirmation that the CCPs, HACCP plan, and other preventive controls are effective, etc.

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