Dear NJ Food Manufacturers,
You have probably heard from us in recent months regarding the preparation for the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act known as FSMA. The reason for our outreach is because New Jersey MEP is taking the lead within the National Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) organization to not only assist the New Jersey Food Manufacturing Community, but to assist other MEP centers with programs to help food manufacturers cope with the new national food safety regulations.
NJMEP is pursuing Federal Monies to support this program and help develop enhanced Food Safety support to Manufacturing Assistance Centers across the country.
As a member of the NJ Food Manufacturing Community, you can help make this MEP – Food Manufacturing Support Program happen by taking just a minute of your time and signing our online petition.
About MEP Food Manufacturing Support Program
The proposed project builds the technical capabilities of MEP Centers to address a significant need within the food manufacturing community and ultimately to reduce the impact of foodborne diseases that affect 48 million people each year, including hospitalization (128,000) and death (3,000).
The project allows our MEP Center (as well as the MEP Center system) to build FSMA training capacity in months (v. years) using a financially sustainable business model.
The Federal Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011 represents the most sweeping reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years and intends to reduce the preventable, public health burden of foodborne diseases. The FSMA: a) fundamentally affects the entire supply chain – from farm to table, and directly impacts manufacturing facilities, central kitchens, distribution centers food imports and even transportation; b) provides the FDA with enforcement authority and tools to hold food imports to new FSMA standards; and c) requires that companies provide access to all FSMA compliance documentation within 24 hours and retain records for at least two years.
The FSMA affects one in three manufacturing companies across the country. However, the existing training infrastructure of the MEP Center system, including our MEP Center, does not hold sufficient capacity to reach or to engage the food manufacturing community to the extent necessary for compliance with the FSMA deadlines.
The goal of the MEP Food Safety Support Program is to have to have 13 MEP Centers across the country achieve the level of expertise necessary to provide quality Food Safety Services at a competitive cost in a matter of months rather than years. It is also our goal to link their traditional services of plant efficiency, product innovation and workforce development to this Food Manufacturing competency.
Sign the Petition
A minute of your time can help NJMEP secure $600,000 to bring this program to the members of the Food Manufacturing Industry across the USA. We have posted an online petition so that you can quickly and easily add your name as a sign of support. It takes less than a minute to sign the petition. Collecting as many signatures as possible sends a powerful message to the world: the U.S. is no longer taking manufacturing safe food products for granted.