ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI to Co-Sponsor Forum to Address Third-Party Certification Criteria for Food Industry

New York, Oct 06, 2008

In an effort to spotlight the critical role that conformity assessment activities play in ensuring food safety, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is co-sponsoring Bolstering Consumer Confidence: Identifying Essential Third Party Food Safety Audit Criteria. To be held in Washington, DC, on December 2-3, 2008, the event will be an engaging and interactive forum for suppliers, retailers, regulatory agencies and trade experts as they seek to enhance their food safety value proposition.

Sponsored by ANSI, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), and the Seafood Products Association (SPA), the meeting will serve as a follow up to the recent Import Safety Summit. [see related article] Attendees will have to the opportunity to provide input on what comprehensive, publicly available, third party food safety audit criteria should include.

“With a marketplace and a global supply network that is expanding and evolving faster than ever before, it is difficult to keep pace with the growing number and complexity of standards, regulations, testing and auditing programs,” said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO. “This event will allow government, industry, and trade experts to understand and participate in developing conformity assessment initiatives that will enhance food safety practices worldwide.”

The event will be organized into several general discussions over a two-day period. The first day will feature discussions centered on third-party certification criteria from the public policy perspective, addressing U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements and other considerations raised by organizations such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service and the World Trade Organization. Attendees will have the opportunity to raise questions and points of interest at a question and answer session at the end of the day.

The event’s second day will be organized into one general discussion period focused on establishing and harmonizing a global food safety system, followed by concurrent breakout discussions where attendees will address the following questions:

  • What additional criteria should be included in a publicly-owned set of minimum audit standards?

  • How should FDA recognize and harness existing free enterprise expert firms to ensure meeting the demand for third party audits and facility certification on a global basis?

  • How many certified auditors would be needed to properly conduct a single certification audit based upon the proposed publicly-owned set of minimum audit standards?

  • Should auditors that are certified by an internationally-recognized certification body be registered with FDA and how can any conflict of interest be avoided?

The meeting will be held on December 2-3, 2008, at L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC. Registration is required. For more information on the agenda, the event location, fees, and to register, click here.

Inquiries on the forum can be directed to

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