Packaging machinery initiatives
The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) are very good resources for staying up to date on current events with food and product safety initiatives.
The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) (www.pmmi.org) has long played an active role in machine safety. Fred Hayes, PMMI’s technical services director, is active with several international committees that harmonize regulations. PMMI also holds an annual safety conference with hands-on risk assessment workshops. ANSI and PMMI jointly published the B155.1: Safety Requirements for Packaging Machinery and Packaging-Related Converting Machinery standard.
PMMI also offers a risk assessment software tool called PackSafe. (PackSafe is not to be confused with the OMAC PackSafety committee, which is addressing best practices and standards for integrated safety technology.) PackSafe was developed for the packaging industry but is applicable to a variety of industries’ approaches to risk assessment, such as robotics, machine tool, and semiconductor.
Speakers at a recent PMMI-sponsored FSMA workshop suggested that perhaps 80% of FSMA compliance effort will be in terms of hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP). While this sounds complicated, even the local diner must practice HACCP. Scaling up to large plants, safeguards and documentation become automated. However, these practices are already well established in meat, dairy, pharmaceutical, and other regulated industries.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association is a good source of information on food and product safety initiatives, legislation, and advocacy programs.