Webinar: Basic USDA and FDA Food Labeling

Food labels can be complex for those who prepare and apply them as well as those who simply want to understand the products they are purchasing. Those who create and apply labels must understand the regulations to avoid the potential negative consequences of labeling errors. An inaccurate label can lead to customer or consumer complaints, product recalls, FDA or USDA enforcement actions, fines, and even harm to consumers’ health. Companies need to know how to legally label their products and the accuracy that is required. Those who purchase products should also know what information on the label is mandatory and where to find that information. They should be aware of the level of accuracy required, or not required, regarding the data presented on labels. Does an expiration date mean the product should be thrown out after that date? When comparing items for purchase, is the one with 150 calories better for you than the one with 160? Those responsible for purchasing products to serve in restaurants, hospitals, day cares or schools should know what they are buying based on the data on the label. Understanding the labeling rules will help with purchasing decisions.

This presentation will assist employees of the food industry in knowing how to legally prepare labels for both FDA and USDA interstate commerce food products. It will also help consumers identify the information on labels essential to making purchasing decisions. The presentation will review topics such as the basis of the labeling laws, a review of select food standards, the basic label approval process, the mandatory features of labels, the meaning of allergen declarations, the nutritional ‘facts’ panels, the rules behind health claims, and country of origin declarations.

Purchase / Register Here

“How a Food Production Facility Designs a HACCP Plan” with Cathy Crawford January 21, 2012

BlogTalk Radio interview: “How a Food Production Facility Designs a HACCP Plan” with Cathy Crawford, Vice President, HACCP Consulting Group, Fairfax Virginia
Click: : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ame-foodtestingshow/2012/01/27/how-a-food-production-facility-designs-a-haccp-plan
Duration: 35 Minutes, 2 seconds.

Cathy joined the group after 10 years working for a privately owned meat and poultry company where she was responsible for regulatory compliance, developing food safety strategies, export programs, and the recall system.
Her Bachelor’s is in Biology from Arizona State and Masters in food safety from Michigan State.
She also earned a Certificate in International Food Law from The Institute for Food Laws and Regulations at Michigan State. She is also a Registered Auditor for Safe Quality Foods. She has instructed workshops for the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service.Cathy has provided HACCP and other food safety training to a wide variety of businesses including meat and poultry processors, bakeries, confectionary companies, produce companies and food service establishments. She also provided training for veterinary food safety inspectors in Poland in 2011 regarding U.S. Food regulations including HACCP.

1. Cathy’s background.
2. Analyzing the properties of each food product line
3. The crafting of a process flow diagram or chart of materials through the facility.
4. How to perform a Risk Analysis
5. Establishing critical limits through scientific methods and documentation.
6. Validating the HACCP plan by the HACCP team.

Cathy Crawford
HACCP Consulting Group
Fairfax VA

The Cost of Poor Quality

This link, from ASQ is a stark reminder of the cost of poor quality.  Please watch it, and consider the potential ramifications of the costs of poor food safety or weak food safety systems.  It is in everyone’s interest to build, support  and maintain the best food safety systems possible. Let’s continue those efforts!




Weakness in programs, monitoring and verification is an inadequacy that leads to poor quality of product. Complaints of poor quality product jeopardizes the relationship between producer/supplier and customer. A change in process is a simple task to take on. A change from good reputation to one of poor quality can be detrimental. I can assist you with strengthening your process by conducting internal audits of your facility and reviewing existing programs. If needed, I can help you develop programs needed. Contact me via email at cathy@foodsafety1.com for more information.

All Natural ?

According to a recent blog post by Ricardo Carvajal, the FDA issued a warning letter for a food manufacturer’s labeling of a product containing disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate, as “all natural”.  The letter cites an alleged violation of FDC Act § 403(a)(1) regarding misbranding  due to false or misleading statements.  FDA considers use of the term ‘natural’ on a food label to be truthful and non-misleading when ‘nothing artificial or synthetic…has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.’   It seems ‘natural’ has essentially the same meaning as ‘all natural’ and this will be enforced. The letter is notable because the “all natural” claim is the only violation cited indicating the seriousness with which FDA views the issue.  The FDA letter closes with good advice: “We recommend that you review all of your product labels to be consistent with our policy to avoid additional misbranding of your
food products.”  I agree!

Buying Local Isn’t Always the Best Choice

The link below illustrates a good example of why buying local isn’t always the right thing to do. No one wants their restaurant serving food made in a bathtub!  Supply chain management includes knowing suppliers have appropriate food safety systems in place. I  have developed supplier approval programs for many companies. Contact me if you need help.