Page 15 - Beverage Master August-September 2019
P. 15

Craft Beverage

                 Established in 2011 by the Food and Drug
               Administration, FSMA compliance extended to
               beverage producers at a graduated rate. It began
               in 2016 for companies with over 500 full-time
               employees, scaling down to “very small business-
               es”—those with beverage sales of less than $1
               million—finalizing compliance in September 2018.
               Inspections of beverage raw materials started
               this year. For some producers, this compliance
               required extensive examination and overhaul of
               processes and systems.

                 One might assume that requirements by OSHA
               and the FDA already cover worker and product
               safety issues. In many ways, they do, but this addi-
               tional layer of compliance mandated by the FSMA
               is a necessity for consumer products. It’s also
               another thread of bureaucracy to follow—one of
               many that can be challenging to untangle.

                 “It’s very difficult for business owners to dedicate
               time to learning all the nuances of compliance to
               both OSHA and the FDA. They’re really interested
               in creating and growing their businesses, so having
               a consultant who’s knowledgeable in these compli-
               ance areas allows the owner to both focus on the
               business and ensure that someone is keeping them
               compliant,” said Gary D. Morgan, Vice President
               and senior consultant of SafeLink Consulting in
               Cumming, Georgia. He’s also an authorized OSHA
               outreach trainer.

                 “Our business is to know everything we can
               about OSHA safety requirements and FDA regu-
               lations on producing beverages that are safe for
               the public to consume, so we keep our clients
               as informed as possible in these areas,” Morgan
               said. He also pointed out that the Canadian Centre
               for Occupational Health and Safety and its Food
               Inspection Agency mirror OSHA and the FDA
               requirements rather closely, so producers sharing
               a national border are assured of similar compliance
               between partners.

                     Create an Environment of Safety

                 Doing what’s best for the product starts with the
               optimum workplace atmosphere and training pro-
               vided to employees. Ideally, owners and managers
               should establish these best practices in the early
               stages of the business.

                 “Bringing a consultant onboard at start-up can
               ensure decisions can be made in the development
               stage that takes into consideration compliance

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