an effort to provide additional protection against foodborne
illness, the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) will begin pretesting of its voluntary
current food industry practices (CGMPs) survey
instrument. Survey results will assist FDA in characterizing current food
industry practices to accurately identify safe, cost-effective industry
practices for modernized food CGMPs.
The survey will seek information about five key issues relevant to the
food CGMP modernization effort—employee training; sanitation and personal
hygiene; allergen controls; process controls; and recordkeeping.
CGMPs describe the methods, equipment,
physical plants and controls for producing safe processed food. They were
last revised in 1986. FDA intends to conduct a statistical survey of 2,700
large and small domestic food facilities that will be asked to respond to
the survey instrument and may do so via the Internet or mail.
The purpose of the pretest, which will involve sending the instrument
via Internet to 50 to 60 facilities, is to ensure that the survey
instrument is clear, unambiguous, elicits the information the agency needs
and does not impose an undue burden on industry respondents.
Responses to the pretest and the actual survey will be kept
confidential. All data will be collected, compiled and kept by the
independent consulting firm Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG) and only
used for statistical purposes. The ERG reports will summarize findings
across the sample and will not associate responses with a specific company
or individual. ERG will not provide information that identifies companies
to anyone outside the ERG study team at any time.
FDA: Announcing a Pretest of FDA's Food CGMP Survey Instrument